Electric vehicle (EV) taxi-hailing service NopeaRide is permanently exiting the Kenyan market after its majority shareholder and financier EkoRent Oy declared insolvency in Finland.
EkoRent is unable to secure additional financing to grow the business in Nairobi to another level hence the sudden closure.
“We are sad to announce that InfraCo Africa Limited the minority shareholder has now filed for the liquidation of EkoRent Africa Limited in the High Court of Kenya. This is due to the fact that EkoRent Oy was the principal financier of EkoRent Africa Limited and all the technical knowledge on the running of the business lay with EkoRent Oy” said a statement on its website.
InfraCo Africa Limited, which is the minority shareholder in NopeaRide’s operator EkoRent Africa Limited, has filed for the liquidation of the company at the High court of Kenya. The hearing date is set for December 13.
NopeaRide has already taken its fleet of electrical vehicles off the road and notified staff and its clients. The company is also working with relevant authorities to ensure the wind-up is in accordance with the local legislation.
NopeaRide service was first launched in Kenya in August 2018 with only 3 electric vehicles and 2 chargers. By the end of 2019, Nopea received new funding and placed orders for additional electric vehicles and chargers which partially disrupted its services.
In the first half of 2022 NopeaRide’s traffic numbers grew to about the same level as before Covid-19 including signing deals with a few big international companies that have reserved the majority of Nopeas capacity.
NopeaRide and a local leading technology and research university had signed a cooperation agreement to build a Solar Charging Car Port for Nopea electric vehicles with an option for electric BodaBoda (eBoda) battery swap stations.
The partnerships have potentially reserved the majority of available Nopeas capacity and EkoRent Oy’s insolvency means all its business activities are cut short.