Bogota, Colombia, January 30, 2019
—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
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 Liftit’s data. Proceeds from
the financing round will also be used to fund the company’s 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 product’s 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, IFC’s 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 IFC’s 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 IFC’s early-stage equity strategy in Latin
America to help support the growth of the digital economy and spur productivity.
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank
Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private
sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide,
using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities
in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more
than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging
the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared
prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.