Nigerian mobility startup, Metro African Xpress (MAX) has successfully raised 1 million one -year fixed-rate series 1 Bond. The company is the first African mobility company to issue a bond under the Private Company Bond program dubbed the PCB program. The Bond is also the first part of its newly floated $22 million multicurrency Private Company Bond program
MAX launched in 2015 as a logistics startup in Lagos, but it has since pivoted to various offerings in transport and logistics services and is currently focused on having a substantial presence across the entire value chain the in the mobility sector.
The ban on commercial motorcycles and tricycles in Lagos made things a bit shaky, but it pivoted to deliveries, and currently has a foothold in six states in Nigeria.
Since its launch, MAX has raised $8.2 million in four previous funding rounds that took place in 2015,2016,2019 and 2020.
The 2020 series 1 bond is part of a $22 million bond for private companies. Despite the hard-economic times, the bond was floated through a private placement and has received strong interest from both local and international fixed-income investors.
The startup made this announcement on September 28, 2020, and the transaction was arranged by DLM Advisory Limited, a Nigeria based developmental investment bank regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Guy-Bertrand Njoya, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of MAX, explains that the startup has explored several other means of raising money in the past, which include venture funding, angel investments, bank loans, among others. The new move signals its first foray into Nigeria’s capital market.
“Most exciting for us about this ground-breaking funding structure is being able to close it amidst the current social and economic uncertainty, with this we don’t have to dilute the company any further. The bond issuance is part of a larger program and is structured in a way that the startup can keep raising funds by issuing more bonds at any other time they deem fit.”
“Normally, you could issue a bond for a fixed term, and when it ends, you begin the entire process with SEC and all the parties involved, but this is structured so we can keep raising funds at different periods, in different types of currencies,” he says.
MAX is eying for future expansion to other countries to build pan-African solutions across the value chain of the mobility sector, and the structure of the new bonds will go a long way to help the company achieve that.
MAX’s new program will also ensure those ineligible to receive loans from banks can get various types of vehicles for commercial activities.