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    Tuesday, December 21, 2021

    Nigerian Mobility-Tech Startup, MAX Raises $31m Series B Round

    Nigerian mobility tech startup, Metro Africa Xpress (MAX), a vehicle subscription platform for low-to-zero emission vehicles, has raised US$31 million in the first close of a Series B funding round, with further closes expected in the next few weeks.

    Founded in 2015 by Adetayo Bamiduro and Chinedu Azodoh, MAX is building the rails for mobility in Africa by delivering integrated, affordable and collateral-free vehicle subscription packages including low to zero-emission vehicles, healthcare, insurance, maintenance, and e-hailing subscriptions.

    MAX’s platform leverages alternative data sets to power driver onboarding, dynamic credit assessment, fleet optimisation, digital payments, and advanced risk management. The startup’s 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.

    Currently, MAX serves over 13,000 drivers, with over 60,000 prospective drivers in the pipeline. Over 17 million trips have been completed on the platform, and the startup is now planning expansion after the first close of its Series B round.

    The funding round was led by global private equity platform Lightrock, for whom it is a first investment in the African mobility space, and UAE-based international venture capital firm Global Ventures. It also included participation from new investors, such as venture debt from Proparco, the French development finance institution, through its Digital Africa Bridge Fund. Existing investor Novastar Ventures also participated.

    The Series B close follows MAX’s previous raising of over US$40 million of institutional debt for driver financing. MAX will use the capital to drive international expansion into Egypt and Ghana during the first quarter of 2022, followed by Francophone, East, and Southern Africa. The funding will also enable the deployment of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, and the provision of credit and financial products to over 100,000 drivers.

    “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,” Bamiduro said.

    “It is another milestone in our journey to make mobility safe, affordable, accessible, and sustainable by deploying high-performance technologies and operators. The investment will enable us to transform the lives of hundreds of thousands of drivers across the continent, accelerate international expansion, and continue our pioneering initiatives in the mobility space.”

    Ravi Sharma, partner at Lightrock, said with rapid urbanisation fuelling the African mobility market growth, MAX was effectively and sustainably matching supply and demand for affordable, safe and reliable transportation to the benefit of passengers, drivers and the environment, pioneering electric vehicles in Africa.

    “We are enthusiastic about backing MAX and their highly capable management team in further scaling the transformation of African mobility,” he said.

    Noor Sweid, a general partner at Global Ventures, said her firm had been drawn to both team and product at MAX.

    “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, insurtech and govtech services. We are thrilled to welcome them to the portfolio as our first investment in the African mobility space,” she said.

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