Metro Africa Xpress Inc., (MAX), will shortly be realising its expansion dream. The Nigerian mobility tech start-up has secured $31 million in Series B funding. MAX will be using this funding to expand into Ghana and Egypt by end of Q1, 2022. It intends to close on East and Southern Africa as well as Francophone Africa by end of 2022.
Founded in 2015 by Adetato Mamiduro (CEO) and Chinedu Azodoh (Chief Growth Officer), MAXs addresses the last-mile delivery and online retail problems through mobile and web platforms. They started out with motorcycle deliveries, before moving into the world of ride-hailing, later moving into vehicle subscription and financing services.
It included participation from new investors such as Venture Debt from Proparco, the French development finance institution, through its Digital Africa Bridge Fund, and Existing investor Novastar Ventures. “The endorsement of Lightrock and Global Ventures validates the strength and reach of MAX and reflects the huge market opportunity,” said a statement released by UAEs Global Ventures.
Bamiduro, CEO of MAX, said, “We are delighted to announce this funding round. This new investment from highly respected global investors such as Lightrock and Global Ventures, plus continued support from our existing investors, further validates our business model and strategy.”
MAX have been able to expand by using their own data, using this to expand to vehicle financing in 2018. The CFO Guy-Bertrand Njoya told TechCrunch, that “We spent time understanding drivers’ operations and it became apparent to us that most of them don’t own the vehicles they use,” said Njoya. “It became clear that the fundamental issue that drivers face is consistent access to vehicles. And that is when we realised that if we are to be successful at solving the challenge of mobility across the continent, we have to first address the issue of vehicle access.”
The Company has pioneered this operating model and its technology is powered in partnerships with global OEMs such as Yamaha, ride-hailing platforms such as Bolt, financial services strategic partners, payment infrastructure providers, and clean energy providers.
MAX’s market prides itself as home to 15 million commercial drivers across Africa’s $250 billion mobility industry. MAX currently serves over 13,000 drivers, with over 60,000 prospective drivers in the pipeline. Over 17 million trips have been completed on the platform, which has saved 22,000 tonnes of CO2.
They are presently looking into electric cars and are big on being environmentally friendly and sustainable. They also design and assemble their own line of electric bikes in partnership with Yamaha. MAX partnered with Bolt Nigeria less than a month ago, instituting a lease-to-own ecosystem. 10,000 drivers are expected to take up this opportunity.
Noor Sweid, a General Partner at Global Ventures, said, “With MAX, we were drawn to both the team and the product. The company was founded by a stellar and experienced team with a deep and thorough understanding of the market, who have successfully built a comprehensive tech-driven platform that is truly driver-centric, offering a one-stop solution with embedded fintech, insuretech, and govtech services. We are thrilled to welcome them to the portfolio as our first investment in the African mobility space.”