Nigerian motorcycle taxi firm max.ng, is planning to launch in Ghana and Ivory Coast this year, as well as a fourth Nigerian city.
While informal motorcycle taxis have been around in Africa for years, the new companies are hoping to win market share by offering trained, accountable drivers and the convenience of booking rides through a mobile app.
As in Asia, the companies are also looking to turn their ride-hailing apps into one-stop mobile shops offering a host of services from e-payments to deliveries to insurance – the kind of strategy that transformed Indonesia’s Go-Jek into a $10 billion company in less than a decade.
Max.ng co-founder Adetayo Bamiduro said its expansion would be funded by a recent investment round that raised $5 million-$7 million and that it was targeting an accumulated total of 2 million rides by the middle of 2020, up from 200,000 by May.
The company started out as a motorbike delivery service in 2015 in Lagos and added an app for ride-hailing in 2017, as well as credit facilities for would-be drivers to lease new bikes and pay for them over time.
“What we’ve done is to look at the market in Nigeria and across the region and say ‘what pieces are missing?’: financial infrastructure for mobility doesn’t exist, ride-hailing technology for two-wheeled and three-wheeled mobility doesn’t exist,” Bamiduro told Reuters.