TechInAfrica – MAX.ng is a Nigerian transport startup with concept similar to familiar ride-hailing services such as Uber. This platform, which offers moto-taxi features for personal and business use, collaborated with the Japanese manufacturer Yamaha and Novastar Ventures to raise seven million US dollars. These funds will go majorly into expanding the business in ten cities in West Africa, as well as massively improving MAX’s technological capabilities to enhance performance for users—that means drivers and customers alike. New vehicle classes are also rumored to be added, among them watercrafts and three-wheeled tuk-tuk taxis.
Additionally, as if their investments wasn’t satisfying enough, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Zrosk Investment Management and Alitheia Capital joined the investment pool, making MAX’s total funding go as high as nine million dollars.
Adetayo Bamiduro, CEO and co-founder of MAX.ng spoke that MAX is a lot more than building mobile apps. It’s about creating a safer, more affordable, and accessible ecosystem of mobility designed for 1 billion Africans. MAX will also use their newly-acquired funding to make connections with electric vehicle manufacturers—hint: it’s not Yamaha—for the transport startup to use in their new phase of development. Grid operators in Nigeria will also be reached out to position charging stations so drivers aren’t going to be bothered with charging their vehicles in particular locations.
Alongside electric vehicle manufacturers, this project is also going to research and implement renewable energy as the electric motorcycle’s main power source. Nowadays, most electric motorcycles are deemed as weak and incapable compared to their fossil-powered counterparts. MAX subtly aims to change that stereotype from people’s minds with their upcoming business plan.
Having completed 1 million trips since the day it was founded in 2015, MAX’s collaboration with Yamaha was partly based on the Japanese manufacturer’s influence in Nigeria—they have been operating in the country for quite a while, and are now willing to partner up with good entrepreneurs and startups in helping them to facilitate the locals’ needs for mobility. MAX’s business expansion was also taken into consideration regarding Yamaha’s investment in the Lagos-based company.
Chinedu Azodoh, MAX’s co-creator alongside Bamiduro, admitted that one of MAX’s primary focus is the driver. Market-share for MAX’s drivers is what keeps them diverse and satisfied, and the tips that customers at times give goes fully into the drivers’ wallets regardless of any condition. On top of that, MAX has a local developer team that’s ready to jump in and explore new revenue opportunities, making Azodoh confident that MAX will stay at an advantage over other competitors. Said competitors include Gokada (which is also a Lagos-based transport startup), SafeBoda (Uganda), as well as SafeMotos and Yegomoto (Rwanda).
One thing to look forward to, is their upcoming partnership with electric vehicle companies in Nigeria. That serves as a prime example on how MAX is ready to jump in at any opportunities to improve their business in many ways imaginable. If their plan carries out well and with minimal hindrances and difficulties, electric motorcycle taxis with renewable energy could be the next big thing in Nigeria—even in all of Africa.