Bankrupted online vehicle firm, EkoRent Africa which owns electric vehicle (EV) taxi firm NopeaRide has filed for insolvency rendering their online service vehicle services redundant.
They have also communicated to their staff and corporate clients of the intended withdrawal citing challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
EkoRent Africa filed for insolvency here in the country courts with a hearing date set for December 13, 2022.
“We are sad to announce that the company behind NopeaRide taxi hailing service, EkoRent Africa, has filed for insolvency in the Kenyan courts. A hearing date has been set for December 13, 2022,” EkoRent Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and founder Juha Suojanen said.
They intended to fold up before the ruling is delivered.
The firm has been under serious financial turbulence making it difficult to lender the corporate services some of which are believed to have contractual obligations.
The Finnish-founded mobility firm has notified its staff and corporate clients of its intention to quit the East African market.
“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 law.” He added.
NopeaRide service was first launched in Kenya in August of 2018 (under the name NopiaRide) by EkoRent founded in 2014.
It began with a small minimum viable product in Nairobi with only three electric vehicles and two chargers before growing its fleet and charging network the following year which has resulted to an unprecedented collapse.
Towards the end of 2019, Nopea received new funding and placed orders for additional electric vehicles and chargers.
“Unfortunately, many of the additional vehicles arrived in Nairobi at just about the same time when the strict Covid-19 curfew rules were put in place in March 2020,” Suojanen stated.
“Those rules lead to daily kilometers driven by Nopea vehicles dropping approximately 60 per cent over night. The timing of these additional Nopea vehicles arriving in Kenya could not have been much worse.” He added.