Venture builder Satgana launches first portfolio startup in Kenya, Mazi Mobility
After its launch in September last year, venture builder Satgana has announced its first portfolio startup from Nairobi, Kenya, Mazi Mobility, to address the issues faced by the public transport industry in the Global South by electrifying the motorcycle (‘boda’) industry.
Cities across Africa are undergoing a mobility revolution spurred by rapid urbanization, an increasing energy demand and economic growth. However, the results of inadequate infrastructure have led to high levels of congestion and poor air quality. These challenges are presenting entrepreneurs with the opportunity to pursue an equitable and cleaner future through innovation. And Mazi plans to do just that.
Mazi is launching electric bikes to accelerate the transition to clean mobility. The startup is introducing battery swapping stations that provide on-demand energy, reducing transportation costs by 50%. Furthermore, they will use the Internet of Things (IoT) to mitigate range anxiety and optimize e-boda routes through Machine Learning (ML) to ensure a 99% service uptime for riders. Their key features include a choice between a single and dual battery, capable of up to 70km and 140km of range, respectively. Mazi is taking a multi-stakeholder approach to drive the e-mobility sector forward. They are working with boda operators, technical institutions and manufacturers to ensure the successful implementation of their service.
Jesse Forrester, founder and CEO, Mazi: “Mazi is not just an EV company, we are advocates for a sustainable mass mobility change. At Mazi, we believe that Africans should be able to move efficiently, and affordably across cities at less than the price of personal vehicle ownership while reducing CO2 emissions. What industry is better to see this change than the boda one? Mazi is taking a long approach to mobility, we don’t want to just have the same status quo but with electric vehicles. At Mazi we move people, data and things. Twende Kazi na Mazi!”
The uptake of e-mobility is expected to increase globally, and with it comes a myriad of opportunities. In many East African cities like Nairobi, bodas form the backbone of public transportation. According to the Motorcycle Assembly Association of Kenya, the industry generates over $1.4 billion annually in Kenya. This number presents a massive opportunity to scale for startups in the sector, large returns for investors, and impact not just on environmental sustainability but also economic empowerment.