SafeBoda, the Ugandan bike-hailing startup, has shut down operations in Nigeria to focus on “bringing the company to profitability by deepening its core transportation offering” in Uganda, its largest market.
This is the second time SafeBoda is exiting a market since its founding in 2017. Back in 2020, the ride-hailing service left Kenya due to the negative effects of COVID-19 on its business.
SafeBoda had an impressive run in Ibadan, South West Nigeria. In just a little over one year since launch, the startup crossed the one million rides milestone, growing at 150% MoM. In another 11 months, it tripled its traction to three million completed rides, cementing its dominant position in the region.
But it is leaving Nigeria because the okada (a local term for motorcycle taxis) industry “in its current state is not economically viable and unfortunately requires significant investment at this challenging time in the global economic landscape,” the press statement read.
The exit of SafeBoda from Nigeria may come as a surprise to many as in August 2022, SafeBoda announced a car-hailing service, SafeCar, in Kampala and one month after, it also launched in Ibadan, Nigeria.