Nigerian logistics startup MVXchange has partnered Japanese firm Standage in a move that will strengthen and simplify trade links between the two countries.
Launched in 2019, MVXchange is a maritime trade and logistics platform with platforms that match demand for offshore support vessels in the energy industry and provide digital freight forwarding, customs and in-land logistics services.
It has now connected its platform with that of Standage, a Japanese logistics company that launched its Nigeria office in December 2017. Standage is the firm behind DiGiTRAD, a comprehensive trade service that can complete all trade operations, from matching buyers and sellers, to settlement and financing, and cargo delivery.
In the past, Japanese logistics companies have tended only to handle delivery to sea or air ports in Nigeria and West Africa. From there, customs clearance and delivery from the ports are left to local Nigerian companies. But since the African companies buying these Japanese goods are often small or medium sized enterprises (SMEs), it is often too much of a burden for them to carry out import customs clearance procedures due to lack of manpower.
This problem has now been solved by MVXchange linking the API of its MVXtransit service, which enables digital cargo management, delivery arrangements, import/export and customs clearance procedures for local logistics in Africa, with the DiGiTRAD API, meaning DiGiTRAD users and cooperating logistics companies can now easily perform MVXchange import customs clearance procedures and local delivery arrangements from the DiGiTRAD system.
“The API integration has already been completed. As a first step, we will start operating this service in Nigeria. By the end of fiscal year 2021, we plan to expand this service not only to Nigeria but also to other West African countries,” the two companies said.
“We will jointly aim to realise a service that allows both buyers and sellers to trade safely, securely, and easily.”
Standage and MVXchange are both funded by Kepple Africa Ventures, a VC firm specialising in startup investments in Africa. Kepple general partner Satoshi Shinada said there were still very few examples of collaboration between Japanese startups and African startups, something his company was keen to encourage.
“The partnership between these two companies is very innovative. The collaboration between the two companies, which have a deep understanding of the needs of both Japanese and African customers, will create an end-to-end trade, payment, and transportation platform that connects exporters and importers. I hope that Japanese companies will further expand their business in Africa based on this platform,” he said.