Investment holding company African Rainbow Capital (ARC) – founded and majority owned by Dr Patrice Motsepe – has, through its relevant subsidiaries, made an additional investment into technology-led trucking business Linebooker, which has successfully disrupted the Southern African logistics market over the past two years.
Linebooker is majority owned by GemCap, which, in turn, is owned by ARC.
ARC says the onset of Covid-19 in an already weakened economy has meant that businesses are looking for a more cost-efficient service that also increases their productivity levels. This scenario has accelerated the demand for Linebooker’s service, which has resulted in the business experiencing solid growth prospects in a relatively short period of time.
Linebooker uses platform principals similar to those of the e-hailing taxi service Uber.
In less than 30 minutes, Linebooker efficiently connects customers with multiple pre-approved transporters, confirming availability and the best price for moving freight.
The business has become a large transport platform in Southern Africa, with further growth opportunities in the rest of the African continent on the horizon.
Typical clients include major blue-chip companies, mining companies and farmers, as well as a range of other large and small businesses. Most transport companies are already registered on the platform, says ARC.
The key benefit to clients is that the Linebooker platform reduces the workload. The company handles all insurance, administration, payment and execution, from pick-up to delivery, on behalf of clients.
Motsepe says ARC continues to see exciting business and investment opportunities in Africa, and these opportunities will increase significantly and create a competitive continental and global market with the commencement of the African Continental Free Trade Area in 2021.
“We are investing in a disruptive solution that is fundamentally changing the transport industry. This industry will never be the same and now offers a new system that provides great value to all players.”
Further, GemCap, initial investors Venturen, and the founding Linebooker management team have recently completed a second-round investment in Linebooker. The new investment will support its growth ambitions over the short to medium term.
The additional investment was made to meet the rapidly increasing customer demand from various sectors and geographical regions.
GemCap co-founder Chris Meintjes says Linebooker has succeeded in making structural changes to an established industry that functioned in much the same way it did decades ago.
“As an investor in Linebooker, we are proud of the talented management team who scaled the business using platform technology.”
Linebooker founder and CEO Naudé Rademan says the platform is assisting more and more customers in the current depressed economic environment, bringing significant benefits to them.
“In general, we achieve an approximate 30% saving for our clients in their transport administration costs.”
He adds that Linebooker’s clients have full visibility on all transport movements, better vehicle supply consistency and transparent pricing.
“Linebooker is a multi-dimensional platform and, as such, it has a value proposition for both sides, the customer as well as the transporter.”