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News > Private Equity > Deals

uMunthu fund invests in West African mobility solution

Africa Global Funds
June 24, 2019, 10:41 p.m.

Word count: 355

The uMunthu fund managed by Goodwell Investments, via its West Africa partner Alitheia Capital, has acquired a share in (MAX), an app-based motorcycle hailing in West Africa.

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The uMunthu fund managed by Goodwell Investments, via its West Africa partner Alitheia Capital, has acquired a share in (MAX), an app-based motorcycle hailing in West Africa.

“MAX is at the intersection of mobility and financial inclusion - two important priorities for the uMunthu Fund. We are glad to be supporting and believe in its mission to address the mobility challenge in major cities across Africa, while also empowering every day citizens,” said Mobola Onibonoje, Head of the uMunthu West Africa investment team.

MAX has raised about $7.5m from a group of investors including NovaStar Ventures, Yamaha, Bill Gates-backed Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Africa-based Zrosk Investment Management and other partners.

The current round brings the total funding raised by the mobility startup to $9m.

Existing investors include Techstars, Olive Tree Capital, Venture Garden Group, RightSide Capital Management, Shell Foundation and angel investors such as Greg Schroy and Michael Lazerow.

MAX is a mobility platform that connects users to a network of vetted professional motorcycle-taxi drivers (known as MAX Champions) via mobile apps.

MAX grew rides 17x in 2018 and targets an $80bn market across Sub-Saharan Africa.

The mobility startup provides safe, affordable and accessible rides, helping its customers weave through Africa’s mostly unpaved and congested roads quickly and safely.

It has completed over 1,000,000 trips and is one of Jumia’s largest delivery partners in West Africa.

MAX plans to 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 3-wheel tuk-tuks.

MAX plans to scale its Operations and Engineering teams to support hyper-growth. 

MAX, which has a strong presence in South-West Nigeria, intends to grow its geographic footprint rapidly, adding customers across Nigeria, Ghana, and Ivory-Coast.

MAX is building technology infrastructure and financial services to make mobility safe, affordable and accessible to 1 billion Africans, according to Co-founder and CEO - Adetayo Bamiduro.

Adetayo said: “Building safe, affordable, mass-market transportation in Africa isn’t just about building mobile apps. It is about creating financial, technology and operating infrastructure where it doesn’t exist.”

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