Jakarta-based logistics startup, Kargo, announces a relief fund to fight COVID-19

by Felicia Calle

Kargo, which was co-founded by former Uber Asia executive, Tiger Fang, has raised a total of US$31 million in its Series A round. Intudo Ventures, Mirae Asset Management, Sequoia India, and Silicon Valley-based Tenaya Capital financed this round.

The startup has now raised a total of US$38.6 million to date, and it counts on Travis Kalanick, Uber founder and former chief executive as one of their investors.

The startup takes some concepts from the success of Uber and applies them to logistics and trucking. Business customers order via their official website or app, but the scope is broader, Fang stated. Unlike Uber, the startup works with truck operators and 3PLs instead of truck drivers themselves.

Kargo announced an unusual pitch for its Series A when it stated that it wants to help companies in Indonesia fight coronavirus, and it has set up US$1 million funds for the same. The employees of the startup contributed their salaries, and Fang stated that he is not going to take any salary for the next one year. He also invited anyone who wants to contribute to this fund.

Kargo has also partnered with several charitable organizations such as PT Akar Indah Pratama and Kita Bisa, with whom they are working with to deliver essential medical supplies and meals to patients and health workers at multiple hospitals.

The company stated that it is taking additional precautions to ensure that its drivers are safe. These precautions include ensuring that all pit stops in its routes are properly disinfected and well-stocked. It has also implemented an electric proof of delivery that will help limit physical contact between its users.

Fang stated, “Kargo pledges to be the most reliable logistics partners to ensure no disruptions to the supply chain of essential items in Indonesia. Our entire company is donating a portion of our salaries to this cause, and we invite local businesses and organizations to get in touch so we can work this problem together.”

He further added, “we’re grateful for our wonderful investors who continue to support us, even in a time of financial uncertainty.”

Logistics are a major opportunity in several South Asian markets as local transporters and shippers start to slowly adopt modern technology to address infrastructure inefficiencies. Kargo already has over 50,000 trucks and 6,000 shippers.

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