Friday, January 21

DEAL: MAX, Africa’s largest vehicle subscription platform, raises $31 million in series B

Metro Africa Xpress MAX, Africa’s largest vehicle subscription platform for low-to-zero emission automobiles, has announced the first closing of its Series B investment, raising $31 million. MAX previously raised over $40 million in institutional debt for driver financing.

The funding round was led by global private equity platform, Lightrock, and UAE-based international venture capital firm, Global Ventures. The round 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 round will be utilized to fuel international expansion into Egypt and Ghana, followed by Francophone, East, and Southern Africa in the first quarter of 2022. The funds will also be used to deploy electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, as well as provide credit and financial solutions to over 100,000 drivers.

What you should know about MAX

MAX was founded in 2015 by Adetayo Bamiduro and Chinedu Azodoh with the goal of providing integrated, affordable, and collateral-free vehicle subscription packages that include low- to zero-emission automobiles, healthcare, insurance, maintenance, and eHailing subscriptions. This allows drivers to increase their earnings while lowering their costs.

The company’s cutting-edge technology platform powers driver onboarding, dynamic credit evaluation, fleet optimization, digital payments, and advanced risk management by leveraging alternative data sets. This operational model was developed by the company in collaboration with major OEMs like Yamaha, ride-hailing platforms like Bolt, financial services strategic partners, payment infrastructure providers, and clean energy suppliers.

MAX serves over 15 million commercial drivers in Africa’s $250 billion transportation business, and the company has seen rapid growth. It now employs over 13,000 drivers and has over 60,000 prospective drivers in the queue. On the platform, over 17 million trips have been completed, saving 22,000 tonnes of CO2.

What they are saying

Adetayo 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. 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 urbanization fuelling the African mobility market growth, MAX is 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.”

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

Brian Waswani Odhiambo, West Africa Director at Novastar Ventures, said: “Novastar was an early supporter of MAX and we’ve been impressed by the tremendous growth the business has achieved in the last few years. We are excited to not only double down in this round but also to welcome new investors Global Ventures, Lightrock, and others to the journey. The team at MAX has built great solutions for mobility and we can’t wait to scale these into new markets in Africa and the rest of the world”.