Lagos-Based Motorcycle Transit Service MAX.ng Plans To Expand In West Africa With New Funding Round

By Dan Anderson ● June 24, 2019
  • Lagos, Nigeria-based motorcycle transit and delivery startup MAX.ng announced it raised $7 million in funding led by Novastar Ventures

MAX.ng is a Lagos, Nigeria-based motorcycle transit and delivery startup that recently announced it raised $7 million in funding led by Novastar Ventures. Of the $7 million in funding, $6 million was in Series A and the other $1 million was in grants.

With this funding round, MAX.ng plans 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 such as 3-wheel tuk-tuks. Plus MAX.ng plans to scale its operations and engineering teams to accelerate growth in user adoption

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MAX.ng was founded in 2015 by MIT Sloan alums Adetayo Bamiduro and Chinedu Azodoh. And MAX has hit more than 1 million trips since it launched.

“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,” said MAX.ng CEO and co-founder Adetayo Bamiduro.

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This round of funding was also provided by Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Zrosk Investment Management, Goodwell Investments’ uMunthu Fund (via its West Africa co-manager Alitheia Capital). MAX.ng’s existing investors include Techstars, Olive Tree Capital, Venture Garden Group, RightSide Capital Management, Shell Foundation and angel investors like Greg Schroy and Michael Lazerow.

Yamaha confirmed the MAX investment with TechCrunch. The company pointed out that its interest in the startup is based on market research and its existing Nigeria operations. And Yamaha sells and manufactures motorcycles in Nigeria.

“We want to work with good entrepreneurs in Africa to develop new business in Africa,” added Shoji Shiraishi — the Senior General Manager of Yamaha’s New Venture Business Development Section via TechCrunch. “We really want to understand local needs for motorcycles and…to support (MAX) expanding their business.”

MAX.ng has a strong presence in South-West Nigeria and the company intends to grow its geographic footprint rapidly adding customers across Nigeria, Ghana, and Ivory-Coast.

“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,” added CFO Guy-Bertrand Njoya.

Launched in 2015, MAX.ng is able to connect users to vetted professional motorcycle-taxi drivers (known as MAX Champions) through its mobile app. And MAX.ng increased the amount of rides by 17x in 2018 as it targets a $80 billion market across sub-Saharan Africa. This service helps customers weave through Africa’s mostly unpaved and congested roads quickly. Plus MAX.ng is one of Jumia’s largest delivery partners in West Africa.

“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,” explained MAX.ng CGO and co-founder Chinedu Azodoh.

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