CÔTE D’IVOIRE – Moja Ride, an Abidjan-based digital transportation startup, has secured an undisclosed amount of funding from Toyota Tsusho Corporation and its group company CFAO SAS (CFAO).
The investment which came from Toyota Tsusho’s newly launched US$45 million Mobility 54 Investment SAS (Mobility54) fund– a corporate venture capital subsidiary of Toyota Tsusho group, was made through the underwriting of convertible notes.
Under convertible notes investment, bonds can be converted into shares of the issuing company under certain conditions. This was the style of investment recently used by the VC when it invested in Kenyan bus management startup, Data Integrated.
“The reasons for the company’s selection for the special award and for the investment are in the hope of enhancing the quality of public transport services in West Africa, by supporting the deployment of services by Moja Ride, which target public transport operators,” noted Toyota Tsusho about the latest investment in Moja Ride.
Through Mobility54, Toyota Tsusho Group is accelerating its investment in startups with innovative mobility technologies and services for Africa – supporting their business expansion and service development and creating a series of synergies with the African business of the group.
The Group has been engaging in mobility businesses in Africa mainly from hardware perspectives, such as vehicle and aftersales operations.
The investment into startup partners is strategically aiming at accelerating its MaaS/CASE businesses from software perspectives in order to solve social and industrial challenges in the mobility sector in Africa with more comprehensive approach.
Moja Ride had previously obtained a Grand Challenges grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in November 2015 to work on a solution that would help small merchants in Africa embrace digital payments.
Moja Ride provides a reservation and cashless payment system spanning multiple transport services, centred on the city of Abidjan, currently including over 1,200 taxis and buses.
While dealing with issues on the ground, the company has developed optimal systems and services in a business field that requires a deep understanding of the local transport business and the ability to network with related parties.
Moja Ride’s system is expanding to coordinate service and passenger information, in an effort to improve passenger convenience and operating efficiency for business owners. It is hoped that this will lead to greater quality of the country’s public transport.
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