Moove Raises $23 Million to Lend Uber Drivers

Moove, a mobility fintech startup, has raised $23 million to provide financing to Uber Technologies Inc. drivers to buy cars across the sub-Saharan Africa region.

The funding round, which takes the total capital of Moove to $68.2 million, was led by Speedinvest and U.S.-based Left Lane Capital, with the participation of its existing investor, Emso Asset Management.

The company uses data on ride-hailing platforms, such as earnings and performance, to make credit decisions for lending to the drivers, co-founder Ladi Delano said in interview. Moove entered into a partnership with Uber in July last year.

“One of our commitments is to ensure that 60% of all the cars we finance are either EV or hybrid cars, the British-born Nigerian said. “We’ll be launching our first EV fleet in all three markets across the continent later this year,” he said, referring to Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa.

Each vehicle costs about $9,000 to $13,000 depending on the model and brand. The company runs mainly Toyota Motor Corp. cars, except in Ghana where it has a partnership with Volkswagen AG. Drivers are required to pay a deposit of 5% of a vehicle’s worth and are able to stretch repayments over 24 to 48 months, with an interest ranging between 8% to 13%. A 60-month product will launch in the fourth quarter, Delano said.

“We’re about to go from cars into buses and also trucks for mobility entrepreneurs,” he said. “We are estimating to put around 9,000 to 10,000 vehicles on the road by the end of 2021.”

The startup is co-located in Uber offices in Lagos, Johannesburg and Accra. It plans to launch in Cape Town in the next two weeks and in Durban by September after which it will enter Uganda and Kenya. Moove is not planning to work with Uber competitors like Bolt, but will be announcing partnerships with other ride-hailing platforms for trucks and buses next quarter, he said.