I have said it that transportation / logistics is the next big thing in Nigeria after fintech. The money rain is falling and many are wet. I am already in through Zido, West Africa’s largest keke aggregator. Max .ng just confirmed what I wrote few days ago that it raised $7 million. The fascinating thing in the press statement which they just released is that Yamaha, the global motorcycle maker, invested in the round.
There is a major shift: transportation startups are raising tons of money right now in Africa. Gokada raised $5.3 million few weeks ago, and has now added boats in its business. Today, we are learning that Max .ng, a motorbike ride-hailing startup, has raised up to $7 million. As that happens, ORide from Opera, has $100 million to dip from as they work to fix the logistics friction in Nigeria. These companies are overlaying technology on what has been with us – informal motorcycle taxis – and they hope to “win market share by offering trained, accountable drivers and the convenience of booking rides through a mobile app”, as Reuters notes.
Great numbers there: MAX. ng has completed over 1,000,000 trips and is one of Jumia’s largest delivery partners in West Africa. The logistics element is a big deal; in coming weeks, Zido will plug into the last mile delivery ecosystems across major Nigerian cities.
The Press Statement
MAX.ng, the pioneering Nigerian mobility startup, announced today that it has raised $7 million from an elite group of strategic and financial investors from the US, Europe, Asia and Africa.
The investor group includes Novastar Ventures, a Nairobi and Lagos-based VC firm, Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd, a world-leading Japanese motorcycle and marine hardware manufacturer, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, an investor-led fund backed by some of the world’s leading business executives, Africa-based Zrosk Investment Management, a regionally focused multi-asset investment management company, and Dutch investor 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.
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”
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.
MAX.ng plans to 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.
MAX.ng plans to scale its operations and engineering teams to accelerate growth in user adoption, said CFO Guy-Bertrand Njoya. He added: “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 is a mobility platform that connects users to vetted professional motorcycle-taxi drivers (known as MAX Champions) via a mobile app.
MAX.ng increased the amount of rides by 17x in 2018 and targets a $80 billion market across sub-Saharan Africa. It provides safe, affordable and accessible rides, helping its customers weave through Africa’s mostly unpaved and congested roads quickly and safely. MAX.ng has completed over 1,000,000 trips and is one of Jumia’s largest delivery partners in West Africa.