Our Startup of the month is MVXchange – Nigeria’s very own Uber for Vessels.
Currently serving the Nigerian maritime and oil & gas market, MVXchange was borne out of the need to find offshore support vessels as quickly as possible for charters.
Inefficiencies and delays in finding suitable vessels makes the vessel chartering process expensive and disorganized. This is largely because vessel availability is rarely promoted by owners and there are too many intermediaries between ship owners and charterers.
MVXchange offers a solution through its technology-driven platform which helps users match vessel charter requests to available offshore vessels for short to medium term contracts. The idea for MVXchange was formed in September 2015 by Tonye Membere-Otaji; who worked then as a Chartering & Commercial Officer at Elshcon, a maritime and oil & gas servicing company in Nigeria.
On MVXchange, vessel owners can register and upload details about their vessel while charterers register and send their charter requests. The platform then uses technology to connect matching owners and charterers.
In May 2019, MVXchange raised an investment of $100,000 from Oui Capital; a U.S. based venture-capital firm in their pre-seed investment round. Asides Oui Capital, other angel investors like Zircon Marine and Neon Ventures also participated.
Despite the fact that recruitment and gaining the trust of users has been a challenge; MVXchange has achieved 65 charter requests, 5 successful vessel charters in less than 4 months of commencing operations.
Currently operating in Nigeria, MVXchange has plans of expanding to Ghana, Senegal, Congo and Angola after their seed fund investment round which will commence soon. The company’s long term plan is to serve the entire African continent and possibly South East Asia.
For more information about MVXchange, visit their website.