Meet the Ghanaian entrepreneur who led her startup to raise $13 million from investors

Abu Mubarik February 13, 2023
Miishe Addy is the co-founder and CEO of shipping logistics firm Jetstream Africa. Image via CNN

Miishe Addy is the co-founder and CEO of shipping logistics firm, Jetstream Africa; a company she founded after identifying so many opportunities within the shipping industry while on a 2017 teaching fellowship for an NGO in Ghana.

In January this year, she made headlines after securing $13 million in pre-Series-A equity and debt funding for her startup. The funding round saw participation from French development institution PROPARCO through the Digital Africa Bridge Fund; ASC VC, a venture fund founded by executives of the supply chain visibility platform Project44; Nigerian venture capital fund Octerra; Senegal’s Wuri Ventures; Seed9, a syndicate founded by Google alumni; the MBA Fund; the W Fund; and family offices.

Investors like Alitheia, IDF, and Golden Palm also participated in the equity round, while fintech lender Cauris was the sole investor in the debt round. Speaking to Techcabal, Addy explained that investors were selected due to experience in the sector.

“All of our major investors have investment or operational experience with the problem we’re solving. They are specialists in supply chain technology like ASCVC, which was founded by Project44 executives, or African value chain and logistics portfolio companies like Alitheia, Golden Palm, Octerra, Wuri, and Proparco,” she said.

Miishe Addy’s background and her interest in global the supply chain

As previously reported by Face2face Africa, though Ghanaian by family, Addy was born in the United States, grew up in Texas, and obtained her first degree from the prestigious Harvard University. While in Ghana, she identified a challenge in the global supply chain and devised a solution to combine technology and human skills.

Across Africa, many small and medium-sized businesses struggle with paperwork, processes, and investment needed to ship their goods across international borders. Jetstream Africa seeks to leverage technology to allow African businesses to own their cross-border supply chains.

Logistics startups are considered as part of a “third wave” of Africa’s tech revolution attracting investors due to access to high-profile customers and profitability, and with the Continental Free Trade Agreement in full force, the sector is expected to be more profitable.

For Addy, the logistics sector is central to Africa’s development, and there couldn’t be a better time to venture into it via Jetstream than now.

“Most businesses in Africa make and sell physical things, and you can’t sell what you can’t move. So logistics is really a centerpiece of the entire commerce equation,” Addy emphasized at a virtual Africa Tech Summit Connects.

“We’ve seen so much momentum in the fintech world, and there are so many e-commerce websites that are coming up to allow SMEs and everyone else to sell products, but it is the people who are running the cargo on the ground who are solving one of the trickiest bottlenecks.”

Jetstream helps shippers to import or export goods from Ghana and Nigeria, and also developed a digital platform that helps shippers to pay for and track their cargo.

After three years of operations, it has evolved into one of the household names in the shipping industry. To Addy, following her intuition has paid off.

Speaking to CNN, she shared that she is gratified by the fact that her career in tech entrepreneurship is not only having an impact, but is also rewarding. Although COVID-19 has affected businesses across the globe, particularly the supply chain, the digitization of the operations of Jetstream has been beneficial to the company. According to Addy, her firm tripled its revenue and customer base in 2020.

Addy drives her inspiration from her parents; her dad is an inventor, investor, and entrepreneur who is credited with developing a pioneering sterilization device for Johnson & Johnson in the 1990s, and her mom is an economist who consults for manufacturing and logistics companies in Ghana.

For young entrepreneurs who want to be like her, Addy advised that having a notion for problem solving is key. She added that they should not wait for a perfect time to start a business in the future, the perfect time is now.

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: February 13, 2023

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