Ugandan moto-taxi startup SafeBoda expands to Nigeria with Ibadan launch

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Ugandan on-demand motorcycle taxi app SafeBoda haas made Nigeria its third market with a launch in Ibadan, the country’s third city.

Initially launched in Kampala, SafeBoda connects passengers with motorcycle taxi drivers, while also offering additional financial services.

The startup expanded to Kenya in 2018, and raised an undisclosed Series B funding round in the middle of last year to help it deepen its platform and expand to additional new markets.

Nigeria was always the primary target in that regard, and though the process has taken longer than many expected it has now launched in the West African country.

The choice of launch city, however, is a surprise, with SafeBoda launching in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State. It is the third most populous city in Nigeria after Lagos and Kano.

“Ibadan is a great city rich in culture and highly educational. With approximately 4.5 million people and a thriving okada culture, it felt like the right place to set up and learn the ropes of the Nigerian market,” said Babajide Duroshola, SafeBoda’s Nigeria country head,

Earlier this year, the Lagos State government officially banned motorcycles and tricycles in large parts of the state, posing a serious problem to transport-tech startups looking to streamline the motorcycle taxi industry in the congested city.

Duroshola, however, said SafeBoda’s decision to move to Ibadan was made before the Lagos ban kicked in. 

“For now, our focus is to grow our Ibadan market to ensure SafeBoda becomes a household name,” he said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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