MAX.ng, Nigeria’s motorcycle transport startup has confirmed its $6 million in eiquity and $1m in grants to bolster its operations in Nigeria and expand across Africa, a week after TechMoran reported the development.
The investors included Novastar Ventures, Yamaha Motors, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Zrosk Investment Management and Goodwell Investments’ uMunthu Fund, a €100mn inclusive growth fund for Sub Saharan Africa (via its West Africa co-manager Alitheia Capital).
This round brings MAX.ng’s total fundraising to $8.5m. Existing investors include Techstars, Olive Tree Capital, Venture Garden Group, RightSide Capital Management, Shell Foundation and angel investors such as Greg Schroy and Michael Lazerow.
In a statement, Adetayo Bamiduro, MAX.ng CEO and Co-founder, said, “MAX is building technology infrastructure and financial services to make mobility safe, affordable and accessible to 1 billion Africans. This isn’t just about building mobile apps. It is about creating financial, technology and operating infrastructure where it never existed”
MAX.ng plans to use the funding to expand to 10 cities across West Africa, scale its technology infrastructure, deploy mobile payments after its recent deal with Mastercard and introduce an electric fleet and deploy new vehicle categories, including 3-wheel tuk-tuks in Nigeria, Ghana, and Ivory-Coast.
Max will be taking on the recently launched ORide and Gokada which just raised $5.3m Series A round to expand in Nigeria as well. Glovo is also eyeing the Nigerian market so much and has already launched in Ghana. Though this looks like huge competition, Max says its hugely prepared to provide mobility on the continent.
“MAX.ng is uniquely positioned to revolutionize the way Africans move whilst also empowering thousands of motorcycle-taxi drivers. By innovating quickly, we are thrilled to transform Africa’s mobility space at an accelerated pace,” said Chinedu Azodoh, CGO and Co-founder.
The firm aims to scale its operations and engineering teams to accelerate growth in user adoption according to CFO Guy-Bertrand Njoya. “This is where the adventure begins,” said Njoya. “We are excited by the opportunity to foster widespread financial inclusion for the unbanked and underbanked across the continent through the development of our transportation-finance platform.”
Launched in 2015, MAX.ng has completed over 1,000,000 trips and is one of Jumia’s largest delivery partners in West Africa. Yoshihiro Hidaka, President, Chief Executive Officer and Representative Director of Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd., on his recent visit to Max.ng’s HQ in Lagos, said he was excited about the firm’s capabilities and potential.
Earlier this week, BluBird Technologies, another ride hailing service for motorcycles and electric bikes set up shop in Ghana and aims to digitize ‘Okada’ to disrupt Ghana’s public transportation and logistics sector. BluBird technologies is a JV between Trans-Sahara Industries and EightD&Co.