NopeaRide Electric Vehicle taxi service, a 100% emission-free taxi-hailing startup is the latest in a series of startups that have left the Kenyan Market.
According to the statement on the NopeaRides website, the move to close shop comes after the majority shareholder, EkoRent Oy, declared insolvency in Finland. “We are sad to announce that InfraCo Africa Limited the minority shareholder has now filed for the liquidation of EkoRent Africa Limited in the High Court of Kenya. This is due to the fact that EkoRent Oy was the principal financier of EkoRent Africa Limited and all the technical knowledge on the running of the business lay with EkoRent Oy.”
CEO and founder Juha Suojanen founded EkoRent Oy in 2014 and launched the NopeaRide service in Kenya in August 2018 (under the name NopiaRide).
“Nopea started with a small minimum viable product in Nairobi with only 3 electric vehicles and 2 chargers and our fleet and charging network grew very moderately in the following year. Towards the end of 2019 Nopea received new funding and placed orders for additional electric vehicles and chargers. Unfortunately, many of the additional vehicles arrived in Nairobi at just about the same time when the strict Covid-19 curfew rules were put in place in March 2020. Those rules lead to daily kilometers driven by Nopea vehicles dropping approximately 60% over night. The timing of these additional Nopea vehicles arriving in Kenya could not have been much worse.”
The company said it has taken its fleet of electric vehicles off the road and has notified its staff and corporate clients. It is now working with relevant authorities to ensure that its operations are wound up in accordance with local legislation.
Amitruck, on the other hand, is facing allegations of employee mistreatment, unfair dismissals, and mismanagement of startup funds.
Techspace Africa has received reports of ‘screaming, intimidation and shouting at employees during meetings’ by the administration. This is after employees raise concerns over the direction the startup is heading.
All the while the startup is spiraling downwards with ‘sales dropping 15 -25% month on month since June’ despite the moving to a new more expensive office- the address. The startup is also losing clients due to a pivot from 3pl.
This has led the Kenyan tech-enabled logistics platform which recently raised $4 million in seed funding to fire 15% of its workforce.
This is not a good sign, over the years, we have covered startup failures and if nothing changes at Amitrucks, it looks like we will have another story to write. Request for comment from Mark Mwangi, CEO at Amitrucks regarding these allegations bore no fruit at the time of publishing.