Nigerian mobility startup MAX.ng banks $1m in oversubscribed bond

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Nigerian mobility startup MAX.ng has secured NGN400 million (US$1 million) in capital under a first-of-its-kind securitisation of vehicle lease receivables under a Private Company Bond programme it hopes will eventually bank it NGN10 billion (US$22 million).

Founded in 2015, MAX.ng is a mobility platform that connects users to vetted professional motorcycle-taxi drivers via a mobile app. The startup has completed over one million trips, and took part in the World Bank’s XL Africa accelerator in 2017.

The company had previously raised over US$8 million in funding via more traditional methods, but recently partnered DLM Advisory, a Nigeria-based developmental investment bank to issue a host of one-year fixed rates notes under its NGN10 billion bond programme.

MAX.ng claims the transaction is the first securitisation of motorcycle, tricycle and other classes of vehicle finance assets in Sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa, and the first bond issuance and asset-backed bond transaction by a mobility company on the continent. The first series of  the bond, totalling NGN400 million, was issued as a private placement to select pre-qualified investors, and is fully subscribed already.

Proceeds shall be used to fund the startup’s growing asset financing programme across two-wheeler, three-wheeler and other vehicle classes in Nigeria and beyond, as MAX.ng continues to institutionalise driver financing across the continent.

“MAX is extremely pleased with the successful bond issuance, which reflects the market confidence in MAX’s mission, strategy and execution capabilities. This is further evidence that MAX remains at the forefront of technology, financial and business model innovation to solve a fundamental aspect of Africans’ lives,” said Adetayo Bamiduro, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of MAX.ng.

Sonnie Ayere, group CEO of DLM Capital Group, said the issuance was a “bold step” in advancing DLM’s developmental mandate by providing innovative solutions to meet the funding needs of players in key sectors of the economy, through the capital markets. 

“MAX has positioned itself at the forefront of its industry with its unique business model that deploys technology to cater to the peculiarity of mobility within Nigeria’s major cities. In addition to this, the MAX funding programme has played positively in the aspect of employment creation,” he said. 

“Given the average cost of the vehicles financed, the capital unlocked through the Series 1 Bond will lead to the creation of close to 1,400 additional jobs, which in turn has a positive multiplier effect on the Nigerian economy. As a developmental investment bank committed to creating direct impacts to the lives of people, we have put our money where our mouth is and have taken a credit decision to support their inaugural issuance, due to its strong credit fundamentals and the social and economic impact it brings. We are delighted to have assisted MAX on this significant stride.”

MAX.ng plans to reissue NGN400 million bonds on a quarterly basis.

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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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