Ride-hailing startup SafeBoda quits Kenya, citing impact of COVID-19

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Motorcycle-hailing startup SafeBoda is pulling out of Kenya, in a move it is blaming on the impact COVID-19 has had on its business.

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 has since raised a Series B funding round and launched operations in Nigeria. As of November 27, however, it will cease operating in Kenya, which it attributed to the negative effects of COVID-19 on its business.

“While Nairobi is seeing some economic recovery from COVID-19, boda transportation has been hit hard. This has meant our business cannot sustainably operate in this environment and unfortunately, the timeline for a full recovery is not certain,” the company said.

“This decision is a hard one for SafeBoda to make. We know that this will negatively impact our community of Boda Boda drivers.”

SafeBoda users in Kenya have between now and November 27 to exhaust the balances on their wallets, after which they will receive a refund.

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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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