raises $7M round backed by Yamaha and pilots EVs in Nigeria

Nigerian motorcycle transit startup has raised a $7 million funding round led by Novastar Ventures, with participation from Japanese manufacturer Yamaha.

Based in Lagos, the company’s app-based platform coordinates motorcycle taxi and delivery services for individuals and businesses. Six million of the investment is in Series A capital followed by $1 million in grants.

MAX has an extended menu for the round. “We intend to invest massively in our technology capabilities,” including the company’s payment infrastructure, CFO Guy-Bertrand Njoya told TechCrunch.

The startup will also expand to 10 cities in West Africa (starting in Ghana and Ivory Coast) and add new vehicle classes — including watercraft and three-wheeled tuk tuk taxis.

And in what could be a first in Africa’s growing motorcycle ride-hail market, MAX will use its new funding for EV development. “We’re piloting electric motorcycles in partnership with EV manufacturers and working with grid operators across Nigeria to deploy charging stations,” Njoya said.

He would not name EV partners, except to clarify Yamaha is not currently part of the e-pilot. The research also includes renewable energy as an e-moto power source, according to Njoya. MAX’s current fleet consists primarily of Yamaha Crux Rev and Indian manufacturer Bajaj’s

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