SafeBoda has finally launched in Nigeria. The Ugandan bike-hailing startup has set up shop in Nigeria after more than six months of debate and research.
SafeBoda launched in Ibadan in a time when Nigeria had just seen the infamous “Lagos Okada ban” come to life, leaving some room in the market, alongside companies like OPay’s ORide, MAX.ng, and Gokada.
It was sometime in May 2019 when Ugandan bike-hailing startup, SafeBoda, first hinted at expanding into Nigeria on the back of an undisclosed Series B round co-led by Indonesian ride-hailing company, GOJEK, and Allianz X; the digital investment arm of global insurance group Allianz.
It was during this same period last year that the company — which enjoyed a mostly positive expansion into Kenya in 2018 having started out in Uganda in 2015 through the combined efforts of Ricky Rapa Thomson, Alastair Sussock and Maxime Dieudonne — snapped up former Andela Community Manager, Babajide Duroshola, as its Country Manager for Nigeria.
By all accounts, the stage seemed set for an imminent launch but it wasn’t until today, March 2 — some 9 months later — that SafeBoda finally launched in Ibadan, the southwestern city that is some 130 kilometers away from Lagos.
The company is currently operating in select areas in Ibadan, Oyo State, including Agodi, Mokola, Bashorun, and a few other places, though SafeBoda’s services will be extended to other areas soon.
The representative wouldn’t reveal the size of the company’s fleet at the moment but it was gathered that SafeBoda is currently offering only bike-hailing services, though other services will be added in the coming months.
In Kampala where SafeBoda first launched, SafeBoda’s bikes are as ubiquitous as Danfos are almost everywhere in Lagos. The app is even more popular than ever now that it has evolved into more than a mobility solution, into a fintech platform with a food delivery vertical.
It is quite likely that SafeBoda has similar plans for Nigeria but they will have to outmaneuver the competition especially as the “Lagos Okada ban” has shifted the attention of bike-hailing startups to Ibadan where the likes of ORide and MAX.ng already have a presence and are intensifying their efforts.
Safeboda is a company that provides motorcycle taxi services through a mobile application to serve passengers and riders across East Africa. It is headquartered in Kampala, with operations in Kenya and Nigeria where it launched in 2018 and 2020 respectively.
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