(Update: $7 million raised from an elite group of strategic and financial investors from the US, Europe, Asia and Africa. This round brings MAX.ng’s total fundraising to $8.5m)
Investors list include Novastar Ventures, a Nairobi and Lagos-based VC firm, Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Africa-based Zrosk Investment Management, and Dutch investor Goodwell Investments’ uMunthu Fund, a €100mn inclusive growth fund for Sub Saharan Africa (via its West Africa co-manager Alitheia Capital).
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, says Chinedu Azodoh, CGO and Co-founder.
Pioneer Nigerian bike-sharing company, Max.ng, has raised a new round of funding ahead of plans to reclaim a bigger portion of the market once again.
According to an interview with Reuters, Max.ng co-founder Adetayo Bamiduro revealed that the startup has secured funding worth between $5 million and $7 million.
However, Adetayo did not disclose when this funding was made or who the investors were. Nevertheless, the latest round of funding means the startup has now raised at least $6 million since it was founded in 2015.
The new funding will reportedly be used to scale the company’s operations and will be crucial to its expansion plans. Already operating in three states in Nigeria, Max.ng is looking to add a fourth location later this year.
The startup is also looking to fast-track its growth beyond Nigeria. Max is looking to open shop in West African countries, Ghana and Ivory Coast by the end of 2019.
It aims to increase its total patronage to 2 million rides by mid-2020. That’s a huge ambition. More so when you consider that its total rides so far stands at about 200,000 according to Reuters.
The year 2019 has seen stiff competition in the bike-sharing market.
Once looked at as a low-interest area without real growth opportunities, Max.ng is one player that drew attention to its potential. Originally starting out as a logistics startup relying on two-wheelers, the company has since pivoted to provide full on-demand consumer transportation.
But the market has only grown bigger and tougher since it started out. Today, Max.ng competes with deep pocket players like Gokada and Oride.
Gokada is reported to have recently raised over $5 million and changed its leadership. While Oride is backed by the Norwegian browser maker, Opera. Opera created a $40 million fund just to invest in Nigeria, and Oride is one of the businesses expected to benefit from it.
Overall, the news of Max.ng’s latest funding round signifies that all the players are now relatively equal. They now possess high funding and are backed by experienced hands. This could help to fuel growth in the market for a very long time.
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