After establishing its presence across four locations in Nigeria and barely a month after the Lagos Okada ban, Max.ng, the pioneering bike hailing company in Nigeria, launched its services in Ibadan, the capital city of Oyo State, making it the second bike-hailing company to operate in Ibadan. The bike hailing industry made its entrance to Ibadan in 2019 through OPAY and has since been embraced and adopted by citizens.
Max.ng started in Lagos as a delivery company in 2015 and expanded its operations to include on-demand motorcycle-hailing services in the year 2017. It started with just 10 bikes and expanded to over 2000 bikes in two years but recently ended its hailing operations in Lagos due to the Okada ban. Prior to its launch on Monday, February 24, 2020, the company had started background operations in Ibadan since October 2019, these include market research and training of riders.
At its first appearance in Ibadan, Max.ng launched two basic services which are hailing and delivery services. With its entrance, 30 riders were provided with motorcycles with 110cc engines, smartphones, accident insurance, two helmets, branded clothing, and first aid equipment. About 70 riders are getting set to join the first set of riders within the first week of their debut. It is evident that Max.ng, having its up-to-date total funding as $8.5 million, is not joking a jot about its expansion intent.
Max.ng’s entrance to Ibadan wasn’t as difficult as OPay’s when it came to Ibadan owing to a similar mode of operation. OPay had laid precedent for Max.ng. Unlike OPay that is strictly on-demand, Max.ng offers individuals the option of street hailing. The introduction of street hailing as part of its services might be a plus for them in a city like Ibadan, giving them a large client base. Street hailing affords an individual who does not have the Max.ng app to still get a ride by flagging down a Max.ng rider referred to like Champions. The individual makes use of the rider’s app to track the trip and get the estimated fees.
With the inclusion of street hailing service, the company has automatically extended its client base to include people who are not tech-savvy, people who don’t have smartphones and people who are reluctant to download the app on their phone. It is apt to say there are many who fall under these categories in Ibadan. This service would not only be a threat to the existing bike-hailing operator but also to local independent bike riders.
The arrival of Max.ng to Ibadan may force OPay to intensify its marketing activities, modify its mode of operation and services or introduce a growth-enabler service in addition to its existing services. The emergence of the new entrant in a market is a call for innovation and deployment of marketing strategies. It is possible that many in Ibadan are watching to see how things will play out between these two bike hailing companies a few months from now.
Written by: Fehintola Onifade
A writing enthusiast and a connoisseur of beaded jewelry.
@thobbeads | IG
@thobbie12 | Twitter