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African Rainbow Capital invests in ‘Uber for trucks’

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Africa Rainbow Capital chairman Dr Patrice Motsepe.
Africa Rainbow Capital chairman Dr Patrice Motsepe.

Local investment holding company African Rainbow Capital (ARC) has made an additional investment in technology-led trucking platform Linebooker, through its subsidiary, GemCap.

ARC was founded in 2016 and is majority owned by mining magnate Dr Patrice Motsepe. The JSE-listed company invests in the African financial services industry and businesses that deliver exceptional returns on equity.

In 2018, GemCap purchased online transport management company, Linebooker, in a deal that provided the investment firm with a springboard to expand and grow the existing business.

Linebooker was established in February 2017 as SA's first commercial online transport bidding platform, connecting users to multiple trucking companies in order to transport their goods to any location around SA.

Dubbed “Uber for trucks”, Linebooker uses platform principals similar to those of the e-hailing ride service Uber, to efficiently connect customers with multiple pre-approved transporters, and confirming availability for moving freight in less than 30 minutes of booking.

The COVID-19 pandemic, according to the company, has accelerated the demand for Linebooker’s unique service offering, which has resulted in the business experiencing solid growth prospects in a relatively short period of time.

With Linebooker being in a strong growth phase, ARC believes its unique value proposition would be able to draw many clients across key sectors of the economy.

“We continue to see exciting business and investment opportunities in Africa,” says ARC chairman Dr Motsepe.

“These opportunities will increase significantly and create a competitive continental and global market with the commencement of the African Continental Free Trade Area next year. 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.”

Linebooker bills itself as southern Africa’s largest transport platform, with further growth opportunities on the rest of the African continent on the horizon.

Typical clients include several major blue-chip companies, mining companies, mega farmers as well as a range of other large and small businesses.

The new undisclosed investment in Linebooker will support its growth ambitions over the short to medium term.

“We are assisting more and more customers in the current suppressed economic environment, bringing significant benefits to them,” says Linebooker founder and CEO Naudé Rademan.

“In general, we achieve an approximately 30% saving for our clients in their transport administration costs. Our clients have full visibility on all transport movements, better vehicle supply consistency and transparent pricing.”

GemCap is a specialist business process outsourcing (BPO) business, which invests in a number of other BPO-related businesses such as PayProp and Consumer Friend.

GemCap co-founder Chris Meintjes says the additional investment was made to meet the rapidly increasing customer demand from various sectors and geographical regions.

“Linebooker has become a major player in the logistics industry in the space of two years by using new technology to deliver benefits to customers. As an investor in Linebooker, we are proud of the talented management team who scaled the business using platform technology.”

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