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Lagos-based mobility platform Max.ng today announced that it has closed a $7-million Series-A round which it said it will use to help it to expand across 10 West African cities.
Max.ng was founded in 2015 by CEO Adetayo Bamiduro and chief growth officer Chinedu Azodoh. The startup, which began as a delivery service, also operates an on-demand motorcycle-taxi hailing platform.
Bamudiro told Ventureburn today that the round was concluded this month.
The startup explained in an earlier statement on Medium that an investor group comprising of Novastar Ventures, Japanese motorcycle and marine hardware manufacturer Yamaha, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Zrosk Investment Management and Goodwell Investments had participated in the round.
Max.ng intends to add customers in Ghana and Ivory Coast
Max.ng explained in the statement that it will use the funding to expand to 10 cities across West Africa, scale its technology infrastructure, deploy mobile payments in partnership with Mastercard, introduce an electric fleet and deploy new vehicle categories, including three-wheel tuk-tuks.
Although the startup did not explain which West African cities it intends to enter, it pointed out that it has a “strong presence” in the south west region of Nigeria and intends to add customers in Ghana and Ivory Coast, as well as in Nigeria.
The round brings Max.ng’s total funding to date to $8.5-million.
The startup’s existing investors include Techstars, Olive Tree Capital, Venture Garden Group, RightSide Capital Management, the Shell Foundation and angel investors Greg Schroy and Michael Lazerow.
Targeting one billion Africans
Bamudiro, commenting in an earlier statement, said the startup is building technology infrastructure and financial services to make mobility “safe, affordable and accessible” for one billion Africans.
“This isn’t just about building mobile apps. It is about creating financial, technology and operating infrastructure where it never existed,” he said.
Max.ng claims to have increased the amount of rides by a factor of 17 last year alone and that it has completed over one million trips.
The startup says it is targeting an $80-billion market across sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, Max.ng is one of New York Stock Exchange-listed ecommerce firm Jumia’s largest delivery partners in West Africa.
Max.ng CFO Guy-Bertrand Njoya said Max.ng plans to scale its operations and engineering teams to accelerate growth in user adoption.
“This is where the adventure begins. We are excited by the opportunity to foster widespread financial inclusion for the un-banked and under-banked across the continent through the development of our transportation-finance platform,” added Njoya.
Azodoh, commenting in the same statement, said the startup is “thrilled” to transform the continent’s mobility pace at an “accelerated pace”.
Featured image: MAX Deliver Nigeria (Facebook)