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Kenya’s Motoqaa launches lease-to-own vehicles marketplace

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Kenyan startup Motoqaa has launched a digital lease-to-own vehicle marketplace that helps drivers acquire vehicles over time.

Rolled out in June,Motoqaa provides managed services for peer-to-peer lease-to-own contracts for vehicles in the taxi-hailing business.

“We source for drivers, collect payments and manage operations necessary to keep the vehicles and drivers on the road,” Mugambi Munyua, the startup’s founder, told Disrupt Africa.

The startup, which manages a fleet of 28 vehicles, may be relatively new, but Munyua and co-founder Olivia Gachoya started working on the idea in April 2019, and have been in the taxi business since 2016.

“We have advanced our operations by building in-house technology to implement pay-as-you-go models for vehicles using devices that can immobilise or mobilise the vehicle based on the status of payment,” Munyua said.

Motoqaa believes that supporting car ownership will make participation in the ride-hailing economy more profitable for drivers, while also helping its finance partners make returns.

“Drivers would rather have the option to own the vehicles they use in the business. They are however locked out of the formal credit system. Partners are looking to build wealth or earn an extra income. They seek a return of capital and additional profit,” he said.

“Both the drivers and partners are seeking to acquire wealth in different forms. Drivers are looking to acquire an asset and partners are looking at return on investment.”

Motoqaa puts itself at the centre of this, sourcing for drivers with a high probability of completing a contract, and then managing payment collection, aided by technology. Self-funded thus far, the startup is targeting a seed round in mid-2021 as it plans to pivot its business model.

“We would like to transition from a peer-to-peer model to a securitised asset financing model. This will allow us to scale faster and be more impactful to the community of drivers. The move will also see us earn revenue from marking up the vehicles ourselves,” said Munyua.

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