Uber could back African startup with up to R1.93 billion

Uber Technologies Inc. is in talks to back African vehicle-financing startup Moove in a funding round of as much as $100 million (R1.93 billion), said people familiar with the matter.

The US ride-hailing firm will join a group of investors in the cash raise, which will push Moove’s enterprise value to about $750 million from a pre-money valuation of about $650 million, said the people, who asked to remain anonymous as the talks are still private.

The funding round has not yet concluded and the final figure could still change, ranging between about $75 million and $100 million, they said.

Representatives for Uber and Moove declined to comment.

Moove had closed a $76 million equity and debt round in August last year that included BlackRock Inc. and Mubadala Investment Co. That round valued the startup at about $550 million.

Africa is home to the fastest-growing population in the world, with many young people increasingly using technology for services including banking, ride hailing and entertainment on a continent that has often lacked traditional infrastructure and institutions.

Moove is among several rapidly growing fintech services, such as Flutterwave and Interswitch, founded in Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria.

Several have achieved so-called unicorn status, ascribed to startups with valuations of $1 billion or higher.

British-born Nigerians Ladi Delano and Jide Odunsi founded Moove in Lagos in 2020 to help would-be drivers for ride-hailing services who couldn’t access vehicle financing.

Now headquartered in Amsterdam, the firm has expanded across Africa, the UK, the UAE and India.

The startup uses a credit-scoring system to provide financing to drivers to buy new vehicles for ride hailing, logistics and deliveries using a percentage of their weekly income. It already has a close partnership with Uber.

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Uber could back African startup with up to R1.93 billion