Ugandan-founded bike hailing startup SafeBoda is set to quit Kenya due to the implications of the coronavirus pandemic, media reports said. The startup, which entered Kenya in 2018, will cease operations on November 27, 2020. SafeBoda was competing with the likes of Taxify, UberBODA, and Mondo in Kenya.
The company said in a statement, “While Nairobi is seeing some economic recovery from Covid-19, boda transportation has been hit hard. This has meant our business cannot sustainably operate in this environment and unfortunately, the timeline for a full recovery is not certain.”
Earlier this year, Kenya entered into a state of lockdown to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country, which hit SafeBoda’s business. The startup promised to refund users that would not be able to exhaust the funds in their wallet before November 27. This will be credited into their M-PESA accounts. SafeBoda’s exit from Kenya is expected to impact around 4000 jobs, according to reports.
The company also stressed that it will continue to operate in other African markets such as Kenya and Uganda. The startup launched in Uganda back in 2015. It expanded into Nigeria earlier this year and went live in Ibadan, which is the largest city in the country.
Last year, SafeBoda raised an undisclosed Series B funding round to help it deepen its platform and expand to new markets. The funding round was led by Allianz X, the digital investment unit of international financial services provider Allianz Group. The startup also raised $1.1 million in a previous funding round.