BluBird Technologies, a new ride hailing service for motorcycles and electric bikes has launched in Ghana with plans to expand across West Africa and digitize the region’s popular motorcycle services commonly known as ‘Okada’.
BluBird technologies, a JV between Ghana’s Trans-Sahara Industries and EightD&Co through its subsidiary Africa 8D Limited, will work with motorcycles and electric bikes in Ghana in a move expected to disrupt Ghana’s public transportation and logistics sector.
BluBird won’t be alone in the Ghana as Nigeria’s Max recently announced plans to launch in Ghana after it raised between $6m and $7m for expansion. Launched in Lagos in 2015, Max is more advanced and uses data, machine learning and psychometric tests to push credit to its trained drivers. Apart from Max, Opera’s ORide is also eyeing Africa and has just launched in Nigeria. Nigeria’s Gokada recently raised $5.3m Series A round to expand its driver fleet, increase daily rides by 10 fold and acquire local tech talent. Ghana and Kenya are Gokada’s natural choice for its expansion out of Nigeria and BluBird will have a lot of work to take on these experienced venture-backed startups.
Mr. Gerald Acheampong, CEO of Trans-Sahara Industries said BluBird Technologies will give motorcycle, electric bike, and bicycle owners the opportunity to earn an income by simply driving around or riding on their bikes delivering packages, or transporting people through a highly regulated and monitored platform designed around customer experience, satisfaction and safety.
BluBird will not own any motorcycles but will simply power the Okada’s owned by third party individuals or companies. BluBird will ensure motorcycles are inspected and their drivers vetted to meet the regulators safety and quality standards. The firm will also train its riders.
The firm will only work with Okada riders licensed by the Drivers and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) and will ensure riders wear protective clothing, adhere to traffic regulations to reduce accidents and cargo theft. The best drivers will be rewarded through in-app awarded tokens among others.
Mr Kevin El-Hassan, Founder of EightD&Co, said the partnership will help them reach the unbanked with their world-class financial solutions.
“We combine best-in-class technology and customer empathy to design product experiences that drive social impact, economic advances and solve challenges specific to each region,” he said.
Mr Ighsaan Jacobs is the local Managing Partner Africa for EightD&Co.