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10 Things You Didn't Know about Jide Odunsi

Jide Odunsi is the co-founder and co-CEO of Moove, the world’s first mobility fintech start-up. Since its launch in Nigeria in 2019, Moove has grown exponentially, and can now boast a presence in six African cities. Having recently secured over $1 million in funding, Odunsi and Delano plan on extending Moove's global footprint. Find out more with these 10 things you didn't know about Jide Odunsi.

1. He has a master's degree from Oxford

A college degree isn't always a gurantee of success. Judging from the number of high profile CEO's who dropped out after a couple of semesters (Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Amancio Ortega, Mukesh Ambani. Richard Branson... the list goes on), if anything, it seems the opposite. But for every success story about a dropout, there are a dozen more that suggest education is far from obsolete. Odunsi has qualifications for miles, including a BSc in Economics (First Class Honors) from the London School of Economics & Political Science, a Masters in Business Administration from the MIT Sloan School of Management, and a Masters of Science in Sustainable Urban Development from the University of Oxford.

2. He's an award winner

Ever since university, Odunsi has been on the receiving end of multiple awards. During his time at the MIT Sloan School of Management, he was awarded the Henry Dupont II award for academic achievement. Since then, he's been honored with selection to the Institute Choiseul's Top 100 Young Economic Leaders and Top 20 Young Economic Leaders.

3. He began his career at Goldman Sachs

After graduating from the London School of Economics & Political Science with a BSc in Economics in 2004, Odunsi took a job at Goldman Sachs. By the time he left the company 7 years later, he'd worked his way up the ladder to become Executive Director/Vice President of Macro Derivative Strategies in the Equities Division, a role that involved the management of a $500 million gross investment portfolio. Between 2008 and 2012, he ranked among the top 10% of trading earners. He also served as the head trader of risk execution client-facing business, covering emerging markets equities business across EMEA and MENA.

4. He spent three years in project management

After leaving Goldman Sachs in 2012, Odunsi spent less than a year working as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company before taking on the role of project manager at Marcelle Ruth Cancer Centre & Specialist Hospital, a leading West African Oncology Centre offering chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgical services. During his time with the company, he developed a go-to-market strategy to help launch the center in Nigeria, along with organizing fundraising to the tune of $15 million.

5. He co-founded Grace Lake Partners Limited

In 2014, Odunsi decided the time was ripe to become his own boss. After teaming up with fellow British-born Nigerian entrepreneur Ladi Delano, he co-founded Grace Lake Partners Limited, a Pan-African conglomerate that aims to develop business entrepreneurship and address vital societal needs across Africa by building and operating businesses that foster socio-economic transformation.

6. He's making waves in the mobility sector

In 2019, Odunsi and his business partner Ladi Delano launched Moove Africa BV, a mobility fintech start-up that provides revenue-based vehicle financing to ride-hailing drivers and mobility entrepreneurs. Since establishing an exclusive partnership with Uber, Moove has become one of the largest and most successful vehicle financing companies in Sub-Saharan Africa. It now boasts a presence in six African cities ( Lagos, Accra, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Nairobi, and Ibadan) and has helped customers complete over 3 million rides over a distance of more than 25 million kilometers. But they're not leaving it there. According to the company's website, the ultimate plan is to develop the largest full-service automotive financial services company in the MENA and SSA regions over the next two years.

7. He's democratizing vehicle ownership

As points out, Africa is home to over a billion people, yet the majority of the population have no access to a vehicle. In 2019, only 900,000 new vehicles were sold across the entire continent, a figure that stands in stark contrast to the 17 million new vehicle sales made in the US that same year. In Nigeria, new cars are considered a luxury item available only to a select few - most car owners simply pass used cars between themselves. It was after discovering the extent of the problem that Odunsi and Delano decided to launch Moove, which aims to democratize vehicle ownership to the point that every household in the region has access to a vehicle.

8. He's just raised over $1 million

As reports, 2022 has already been a very promising year for Odunsi and Moove - on the 14th March, the company closed on $105 million during its latest funding round, bringing the total amount raised since its launch to $174.5 million. The round was led by existing investors Speedinvest and Left Lane Capital, with participation from new investors AfricInvest, MUFG Innovation Partners, Latitude, and Kreos Capital. In a statement released to Technext, Odunsi and Delano confirmed that it planned to use the new funds to “rapidly scale its revenue-based vehicle financing model to seven new markets across Asia, MENA, and Europe regions over the next six months.”

9. He live-streamed his wedding on Zoom

Odunsi and his wife, interior, fashion, and furniture designer, Kessiana Edewor-Thorleyha, originally planned on holding their wedding in London, but when COVID put a halt to their plans, they moved the ceremony and reception to Edewor-Thorleyha's family home in Lagos. As only a select number of guests could attend due to the social distancing measures in places, they live-streamed the event on Zoom. Odunsi's co-CEO at Moove, Ladi Delano, was unable to attend in person, but gave a congratulatory speech over Zoom.

10. He and Ladi Delano are old university friends

Odunsi and Ladi Delano first met as students at the London School of Economics & Political Science. Although they struck up a friendship then, they both followed very different paths after leaving college, with Delano moving into the entrepreneurial sector with the launch of a liquor business and Odunsi cutting his teeth in the cooperate world. It would take another decade for them to reconnect and go into business together.

Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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