Toyota Tsusho Corporation and its group company CFAO SAS has invested in Moja Ride, a ride-hailing startup in Côte d’Ivoire, through Mobility 54 Investment, a corporate venture capital subsidiary of Toyota Tsusho group.
Founded in 2019 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire by Mr. Jean Claude Gouesse, Moja Ride won the Special Prize at the Startups in AFRICA – the grand final of NINJA business plan competition, hosted by Nikkei and Japan International Cooperation Agency on February 26, 2021.
Moja Ride was part of the 10 African startups chosen by JICA and Mobility54 and other private firms conferred special awards.
Roughly 35,000 share-taxis (“Woro-Woro”) and some 8,000 minibuses (“Gbaka”) have served the transportation needs of Abidjan citizens – Côte d’Ivoire for many years. The businesses are operated independently by taxi or minibus owners, who employ drivers to provide their services.
Consequently, the service information and pricing systems of each taxi or minibus are not fully transparent and integrated to each other. Passengers need to check the operational schedule and destination, then negotiate the price, each time they use such a service. Cash payment of fares is the standard, and daily takings are managed by drivers. Consequently, business owners struggle to keep tabs on their business earnings.
Moja Ride is an Ivorian startup providing a reservation and cashless payment system spanning multiple transport services, centered on the city of Abidjan, currently including over 1,200 taxis and buses. While dealing with issues on the ground, the company has developed optimal systems and services in a business field that requires a deep understanding of the local transport business and the ability to network with related parties.
Moja Ride’s system is expanding to coordinate service and passenger information, in an effort to improve passenger convenience and operating efficiency for business owners. It is hoped that this will lead to greater quality of the country’s public transport.
Through Mobility54, Toyota Tsusho Group is accelerating its investment in startups with innovative mobility technologies and services for Africa – supporting their business expansion and service development, and creating a series of synergies with the African business of the group.
The Group has been engaging in mobility businesses in Africa mainly from hardware perspectives, such as vehicle and aftersales operations. The investment into startup partners is strategically aiming at accelerating its MaaS/CASE businesses from software perspectives in order to solve social and industrial challenges in the mobility sector in Africa with more comprehensive approach.