||United States : IFC Invests in Liftit to Bolster Tech Solutions for Logistics in Latin America
||IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, approved a $2.8 million equity investment in Liftit, a Latin American-based tech firm that connects truck drivers to businesses that need cargo delivered. The IFC investment will help Liftit expand its current operations in Mexico and Colombia, countries where high logistics costs, partly linked to high intermediation fees and a lack of technological innovation, are a burden on economic development and productivity.
Liftit is introducing a technological platform that provides companies that need their cargo delivered with a more efficient, reliable and affordable delivery management system. The platform also gives truck drivers an opportunity to find work more easily, be paid promptly and obtain advances for key expenses, such as gasoline and truck maintenance. By automating and optimizing the delivery process, companies can achieve a substantial reduction in their shipping costs, with savings of up to 25 percent in average, according to Liftits data. Proceeds from the financing round will also be used to fund the companys launch in other Latin American countries such as Argentina, Brazil, and Chile
"We are very happy with this new round of investment and having IFC as our lead investor. This will help us to continue optimizing transport logistics in more countries in Latin America and will benefit both companies and truck drivers," said Brian York, CEO of Liftit. The reduction in shipping expenses is especially critical for Latin American countries, where logistics can account for as much as 15 percent of a products cost, nearly twice the comparative rates in the United States and Western Europe.
In Mexico and Colombia, more than 70 percent of truck drivers are independent and rely on third-party transportation brokers to connect them with clients. This system lacks pricing transparency, with high rate fluctuations even for the same routes, and does not have in place the necessary technology to respond to real-time shipping demands as it still depends on paper and phones to track orders.
We are confident that technology and innovation can help Latin America tackle some of the most important development challenges in the region, said Gabriel Goldschmidt, IFCs director for Latin America and the Caribbean. Liftit is a great example of a company that can help improve business and retail operations in Latin America, where the lack of technology in the logistics sector gets in the way of efficient commerce and limits the flow of goods and services, said Goldschmidt.
The project is part of IFCs focus on investments to improve the efficiency of the logistics sector in Latin America with the goal of helping eliminate a critical bottleneck faced by the private sector in the region that is hampering its capacity to grow and create more jobs. The investment in Liftit is also aligned with IFCs early-stage equity strategy in Latin America to help support the growth of the digital economy and spur productivity.
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