The year 2018 had impressive numbers for African early and growth stage companies, where cumulatively they raised USD 725.6 Mn.
After three years of operations in Ghana, MAZA that provided transportation for various purposes primarily focussed around urgent healthcare requirements came to a halt. In a recent blogpost, where they have analysed their shutdown, Maza has declared the wrapping of their operations at the end of 2018. Though the startup could be tagged in the logistics sector, it positioned itself as a Healthcare startup, as evident from its social media pages.
As per the post, this development came about in spite of experiencing positive results in improving access to urgent health care transportation. Along with healthcare, they claimed to have been instrumental in connecting the farmers and traders in Chereponi and Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo districts in the Northern Region, Ghana.
The startup that ran out of resources to move their idea forward, had been primarily funded by the Founder Nana A. Y. Twum-Danso along with family and friends. MAZA had also won prize money from The Clearly Vision in 2016.
Nana, who used to work for Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation before starting up MAZA, declined to answer any questions as of now.
In spite of having a core noble thought along with an experienced founder, MAZA’s struggle for sustainability can be a good source of learning for many aspiring entrepreneurs. Though traditional businesses have room to grow in Africa, what possibly is needed is local investors who are aware of the local challenges.
Shutting down your company is one of the most difficult things to do. An entrepreneur once said, Not everything we do is going to be successful, especially on the first try. We all have to embrace our ugly first pancake. It’s going to be ugly, but we gotta put it out there if we’re going to learn to make a pretty stack later on!
While startup fundings are celebrated in Africa. It’s very important to learn from the experiences of those who tried but didn’t succeed.