Additionally, the company received $1 million in grants bringing its total fundraising to $8.5m. In the photo sent out above, Max has an executive riding a tricycle or Keke, but it seems no one cared until it shared recently on its social media pages, as indicated below. Or, until we all saw the OTrike from Opay.
Kekes and micro-lending part of the blueprint
Max has not launched Kekes due to pressure from anyone. Kekes and micro-lending were part of its blueprint. However, no company launches all its products on day one.
“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,” Adetayo Bamiduro, MAX.ng CEO and Co-founder, said in a company statement.
Worth mentioning is that MAX.ng has Yamaha Corp as one of its latest investors. To show you Max.ngs new family tree, Yamaha Corp is an investor in Singapore’s Grab. Yamaha didn’t just put $150m into Grab, the two firms are working on flexible financing for people who want to buy motorbikes and join Grab.
Yamaha Motors on board
Yamaha also promised to help improve the safety for riders and passengers and use the data to develop future vehicles.
Yamaha also backed India-based Drivezy, a motorcycle and car rental platform with $20m. It won’t be news to see Max.ng doing what Drivezy is doing in India. However, our focus is on Grab now.
Its common knowledge that Grab runs GrabTaxi, GrabCar, GrabHitch, GrabShare, GrabCoach, GrabShuttle, GrabShuttle Plus, GrabFamily, JustGrab, GrabRentals, GrabWheels, GrabFood, GrabExpress Beta, GrabPet, GrabHotels, GrabVideos, GrabTickets, Grab Trip Planner among others. Grab is also seeking a banking license in Singapore.
It won’t be surprising if Max follows its big brother Grab to offer all these services such as Max Buses or Shuttles to take on OBus. This also seems to be the natural path not only for Grab, but for major ride-hailing services of which Max.ng is allowed to borrow a leaf from. Definitely, 3-wheel tuk-tuks and financial products are not surprising products for Max.ng or any other player in the mobility sector.
Including 3-wheel tuk-tuks
Grab runs Grab taxis, private cars, car-pooling, bicycle sharing, shuttle services, and motorcycle taxis, hotel booking, on-demand video platform, tickets, food ordering, grocery shopping and financial services via its GrabPay and its loans and insurance services “Grow with Grab’ and a ‘Pay Later’, a post-paid and instalment payment service in Singapore.
MAX.ng said it will use the funding to expand to 10 cities across West Africa, scale its technology infrastructure, deploy mobile payments in partnership with Mastercard, introduce an electric fleet and deploy new vehicle categories, including 3-wheel tuk-tuks. Therefore, Max Keke has been in the kitchen for long.
Financial inclusion for the unbanked and underbanked
MAX.ng plans 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. 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.”
MAX.ng, which has a strong presence in South-West Nigeria, intends to grow its geographic footprint rapidly, adding customers across Nigeria, Ghana, and Ivory-Coast.
“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.
Founded in 2015, MAX.ng says it increased the amount of rides by 17x in 2018 and targets a $80 billion market across sub-Saharan Africa. At the moment, whether Gokada or OPay or Max.ng wins the market, is not important. What is important is having products that work with a short wait time.
Yoshihiro Hidaka, President, Chief Executive Officer and Representative Director of Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd., spoke about his excitement at MAX.ng’s potential during a recent visit to MAX.ng’s HQ in Lagos.