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MAX.ng Raises $7m to Scale Moto-taxi Transportation in Africa

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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 watercraft and three-wheeled tuk tuk taxis.

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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.

Last month MAX competitor Gokada raised a $5.3 round and also announced the launch of with boat transport services tagged GBoat. Rwanda has motorbike taxi startups SafeMotos and Yegomoto. Uganda-based motorcycle ride-hail company SafeBoda expanded into Kenya in 2018 and recently raised a Series B round, co-led by the venture arms of Germany’s Allianz and Indonesia’s Go-Jek.

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