Mygarage.africa, Commercial Transport Solution App now in Nigeria | Learn How it Works

 

Alt: = Envio mygarage.africa vehicles lease app screen"

Mygarage.africa is an online platform designed to  tackle commercial transport challenges in Nigerian cities by digitising the entire value chain the market, from the way owners and verified drivers connect, to how the vehicles are maintained and rental fees collected.

Transportation is one of the major challenges facing Nigeria and Nigerians at the moment due to unorganized commercial transport system operated in Nigeria. Most of the taxis and commercial buses known as danfo which are privately owned are not organized and the vehicles are more or less road unworthy their service are neither regulated nor monitored. Anyone buys vehicle and puts it on the road or leases to drivers who delivers agreed fees every day, week, or monthly as the case maybe. The unregulated space makes for fraudulent activities either by the vehicle owners or the drivers. Some of the drives are dubious who fail  to  remit agreed some. 

As it is in Nigeria, an average Nigerian wanting to go into the commercial transport vehicle leasing business would rely on the recommendation of close friends and associates and without any form of guarantee on rental fees to be paid. 

A few of startups have made efforts to innovate Nigeria’s transport system but they have not be able to address the main challenges.

How mygarage.africa works

mygarage.africa was created by Envio, a mobility-focused software-as-a-service (SaaS) startup founded by Silvester Chude, with three other co-founders, in 2018. Launched in Abuja last October,

Mygarage digital platform allows owners to create virtual garages to list vehicles for commercial rent or vehicle finance lease and connect with verified drivers. The platform makes vehicle leasing seamless and secured.

A telemetry device—designed by Envio, leased to car owners, and installed by partner tracking companies—is fixed in the cars to generate analytical data on the maintenance and state of roadworthiness of the vehicles while in use. Periodically, owners get automated reports on the inspections from support partners via a mobile application.

mygarage.africa provides billing gateway that guarantees rental fees. The system notifies the driver prior to the next rental fee payment date. If a driver defaults on the payment, the telemetry device disables the car engine and prompts the owner. But as soon as payment is made, the engine is restored. Envio makes money by charging a platform fee every time a car owner gets paid.

According to the CEO, Silvester Chude, when vehicle owners insures there vehicles, they can only get indemnity for vehicle theft or damage, but can’t get for default in payments buy drivers. Mygarage is aimed at filling that void by ensuring drivers keep to their obligations to prevent lose of investments. 

“Insurance can cover theft but won’t cover default on rental fees or misuse of the vehicle by the driver. What we’re bringing to the table is discipline, keeping drivers on their toes and preventing investors from losses,” Chude said. 

Expansion to Lagos and Beyond

Mygarage, which has penetrated Abuja market with over Having gained popularity in Nigeria’s capital city, with over 1,000 installation of its Envio deice is planning to launch in the commercial city of Nigeria in November ahead of its nationwide expansion.

According to the CEO, the company is currently arising $1 million to improve it technology, noting that the company is faced with high cist of set up such software platform, being the SaaS in Nigeria's commercial transport system

“Considering we’re starting the journey in Africa, it’s expensive for us as we make some mistakes but eventually learn from them,” he said. “We’re currently raising, and need to have as many of these devices as possible to give out to many car owners.”

Being able to convince Nigerians to adopt the solution has also proved to be difficult. This, according to Chude, is because it’s new and even harder for those who have had a bad experience in the commercial transport vehicle leasing business. A lot of consumer education is needed.

Regardless, Timothy Nunu, an early investor in Envio and co-founder, is upbeat about the company’s prospects. 

“This is a home-grown solution to a local problem, but it’s software and adaptable to several other markets. We have very good traction, a clear revenue model, and the problem being solved is obvious.”

“These days, vehicles have advanced computer systems from which we can source data on their health. With that data, our advanced system can shut down the vehicle or fine a driver if, for instance, he drives against traffic or his license has expired,” he explained.

Why the decision to pivot into the startup space, invest in Envio, and even go on to oversee the startup’s strategy and operations? 

The co-founder believes that Nigeria’s transport vehicle leasing business promises a high and viable return on investment (ROI) for investors willing to bet against the risks present within the sector and his experience in other areas apart from technology has helped in building Envio.

“The only problem in the sector is the risk and our technology reduces that exposure significantly,” he said. “In addition to the technology, however, a lot goes into formulating strategy. There are issues of supply chain and logistics, procurement, quality management, and other areas in which I have experience and help the team with.”

Evio sees opporrunities in working wirh transport unioins and taxis stimulators like Uber and Bolt and e-hailing startups beyond just serving individual drivers and car owners. These can offer the mygarage.africa technology on lease to car owners en masse while platform fees will be shared between all parties.

“Taxi businesses and e-hailing can’t reach full potential if downstream issues like fraudulent deals in car leasing aren’t addressed. Our accelerated growth depends on how many of these business partners we can work with,” Chude said, likening his company to Microsoft that provides software for laptops to function.

“We’re trying to create a standard, check fraud, bring accountability and transparency in this space,” Nunu adds. “It’s not just about flooding the roads with cars. The quality of people that will drive them matters and our system checks both the drivers and everyone in the system.”

About Envio CEO, Silvester Chude

Silvester Chude was managing director at CoTrac, one of Nigeria’s largest vehicle tracking device makers for nine years before establishing Envio.

Chude’s work at CoTrac opened his eyes to the possibilities of developing home-grown vehicle monitoring solutions, including the use of local servers and the manufacturing of tracking equipment.

Despite the availability of many other vehicle tracking devices in Nigeria, Chude still identifies gap yet to be filled as those already in the market didn’t full capture the whole interests of car owners and drivers especially in the commercial transport system, hence need for Mygarage.africa.

About Timothy Nunu, Co-founder, Envio

Timothy Nunu has wealth of professional experience that cuts across the energy and financial services industries, having worked at some of the world’s leading investment banks, including Morgan Stanley, Citi, and Barclays Capital before moving on to found Timproxy, a Lagos-based energy company with a focus on oil and gas, marine, and power industries. 



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