MyGarage Launches In Lagos To Protect Commercial Vehicle Owners’ Investment

The commercial transport vehicle leasing sector in Nigeria is one with huge potentials but despite this it remains largely informal, unstructured and uncoordinated; marred by numerous fraudulent activities such as drivers defaulting on remitting agreed fees as at when due or car owners leasing out cars that are not roadworthy.

Additionally, there is no structured or trusted arrangement for car owners to lease out their cars/vehicles to potential drivers, who have also been found to be reckless with vehicles put in their care and generally unbothered by the health and maintenance of the vehicles thereby incurring unnecessary and avoidable repair costs for the owners.

These and many more are the problems mygarage.africa is here to solve.

mygarage.africa is an online platform launched in October 2020 by Envio – a mobility-focused software-as-a-service (SaaS) startup founded by Sylvester Chude, alongside three other co-founders in 2018. The platform structures the entire vehicle leasing value chain from verifying car owners and the roadworthiness of their vehicle to connecting them with drivers, ensuring the vehicles are properly maintained and ensuring rental fees are remitted as at when due.

While the mygarage.africa online platform provides structure by allowing car owners to list on it and drivers connect with them, Envio created a telemetry device that is leased to car owners and installed by partner monitoring firms to generate data to car owners via an app, on the vehicles’ maintenance and roadworthiness while in use.

So if for instance a driver drives recklessly or against traffic, the software shutdowns the car and fines the driver. This helps keep drivers in check and maintain decorum while on duty.

“This transport business should not just be about flooding the roads with cars. The quality of people that will drive them matters and we have built a system to check everyone,” Envio early investor and co-founder, Timothy Nunu said.

Addressing the elephant in the room, the Envio software also helps in enforcing payment to car owners. The device notifies the driver before the agreed due date for the next rental cost. When a driver misses a payment, the telemetry gadget turns off the car engine and alerts the owner. The engine, however, is restored as soon as money is received and Envio makes money by collecting a platform charge for each payment made to a car owner.

According to Timothy, by doing this, mygarage.africa will create a standard, check fraud, bring accountability and transparency in the commercial transport business space.

Right now mygarage.africa is working towards a nationwide and pan-African expansion having garnered so much popularity in Abuja where it launched with the Envio device installed in over 1,000 vehicles. This expansion also includes the possibility of partnering and collaborating with transport unions, taxi aggregators, and e-hailing firms like Uber and Bolt.

Chude explained that “if downstream issues like fraudulent deals in car leasing aren’t addressed, taxi businesses and e-hailing can’t reach its full potential.” Adding that the major challenge would be convincing Nigerians to adopt the solution with a lot of consumer education still needed.

Timothy however, remains optimistic about the company’s prospects in the market as “mygarage.com is a home-grown solution to a local problem, which is also adaptable to other markets with similar challenges.” He added that the business so far has good traction, solves an obvious and major problem with a clear revenue model.

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