NopeaRide exits Kenyan market after majority shareholder was declared insolvent

Tuesday, November 29th, 2022 13:45 | By
NopeaRide cars. PHOTO/ Courtesy

Taxi Hailing service NopeaRide has exited the Kenyan market.

Announcing the move in a statement dated November 28, 2022, NopeaRide's parent company EkoRent Africa Limited said that it was forced to exit the market after its main financier, EkoRent Oy was declared insolvent.

As a result, InfraCo Africa Limited, the minority shareholder has now filed for the liquidation of EkoRent Africa Limited in the High Court of Kenya. The case will be mentioned on December 13, 2022.

The company has already stopped its operations in Kenya.

"We have taken our fleet of electric vehicles off the road and have notified our staff and corporate clients. We are now working with relevant authorities to ensure that our operations are wound up in accordance with local legislation," the statement read in part.

NopeaRide service was first launched in Kenya in August 2018 (under the name NopiaRide) by a Finnish company EkoRent Oy founded in 2014. Nopea started with a fleet of three electric vehicles and two chargers.

Effects of Covid-19 on NopeaRide's expansion

The company has attributed its woes to Covid-19 regulations, that stifled its growth in Nairobi in the last couple of years.

"While Nopea as every other taxi company in Kenya suffered from the restrictions, we used a good part of 2020 developing our software further and negotiating for additional equity investment. Those negotiations finally came to a successful conclusion at the end of 2020, only a few months after Jomo Kenyatta International Airport was re-opened. As Covid-19 related curfew restrictions were lifted in steps and traffic in Nairobi was slowly beginning to normalize, we trusted that the year 2021 would be a better year for Nopea and Electric Mobility in Kenya," the statement added.

EkoRent OY went into insolvency in Finland and was unable to secure additional financing to grow the business in Nairobi to the next level, according to the company.

By the time of its exit, the company had imported 70 Nopea electric vehicles to Kenya that had driven more than 4,000,000 kilometres.

NopeaRide also operated the largest electric vehicle charging network in East Africa.

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