The first closure of a Series B investment round for Nigeria’s Metro Africa Xpress (MAX), a vehicle subscription platform for low-to-zero emission vehicles, has secured US $31 million, with further closes planned in the coming weeks.
MAX was founded in 2015 by Adetayo Bamiduro and Chinedu Azodoh with the goal of providing integrated, inexpensive, and collateral-free vehicle subscription packages that include low- to zero-emission automobiles, healthcare, insurance, maintenance, and e-hailing subscriptions.
Driver onboarding, dynamic credit evaluation, fleet optimization, digital payments, and sophisticated risk management are all powered by MAX’s technology, which uses alternative data sets. The startup’s technology is backed by major OEMs like Yamaha, ride-hailing platforms like Bolt, financial services strategic partners, payment infrastructure providers, and sustainable energy suppliers.
MAX now employs over 13,000 drivers, with an additional 60,000 in the pipeline. The platform has completed over 17 million journeys, and the firm is now looking to expand following the first close of its Series B financing.
The fundraising round was headed by Lightrock, a global private equity platform, which is making its first investment in the African mobility area, and Global Ventures, an international venture capital firm located in the United Arab Emirates. It also includes new investors, including venture loans from Proparco, a French development finance agency, via its Digital Africa Bridge Fund. Novastar Ventures, an existing investor, also took part.
MAX previously raised nearly US $40 million in institutional debt for driver financing, which was followed by the Series B closing. During the first quarter of 2022, MAX will utilise the funds to expand internationally into Egypt and Ghana, followed by Francophone, East, and Southern Africa.
“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.”
With rising urbanisation fueling the expansion of the African mobility industry, MAX was successfully and sustainably balancing supply and demand for inexpensive, safe, and dependable transportation to the benefit of passengers, drivers, and the environment, according to Ravi Sharma, the partner at Lightrock.
Global Ventures general partner Noor Sweid said her firm was lured to MAX because of the people and 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,” she said.