Nigeria’s business epicenter of Lagos has shaken up its shipping order.
At the center are the West African nation’s motorcycle taxis, referred to locally as okadas, which face newly enforced regulatory constraints on their movement.
That’s building speedbumps for Nigeria’s two-wheel ride-hail startups, operating in Africa’s most populated country with the continent’s largest economy.
Ventures Max.ng, ORide, and Gokada have received hundreds of thousands from American, Japanese, and Chinese traders to shift the continent’s motorcycle-taxi markets to on-demand mobility.
The three startups have been in a competition for capital and market share — with the streets of Lagos toiling as a competition course for creating platforms that can scale in Africa.
Gokada raised $5.3 million in May. Max.ng raised a $7 million Series A funding round last June, with Yamaha on panel, to pilot renewable energy powered e-motos in Africa.
Motorcycle-taxi enterprise ORide clattered rivals in Nigeria in 2019 when its Chinese owned parent, Opera, rallied $170 million in VC for Opera’s digital service segments in Nigeria.
Fueled by fresh capital, the bright colored helmets of those ride-hail startups buzzing via Lagos traffic have turned into a backdrop in the metropolis of 21 million.
That flow of motorcycle taxis (and visitors at large) slowed on February 1, when the city that governs Lagos started enforcement of its 2018 Transit Sector Reform Law.