Early Life and Education
Ladi Delano was born and bred in England. His grandfather, Isaac Oluwole Delano, was a Yoruba novelist who compiled a dictionary of his mother tongue.
Born in 1983 to Nigerian parents, Ladi Delano suffered from mild dyslexia and deafness in one ear. This made education challenging for him and in the process, hampered his progress in college, where he had to drop out because of the learning difficulties posed by these disabilities.
Despite these challenges, Ladi Delano rose above his disabilities to start a liquor business in China called Solidarnosc Asia, a Chinese alcoholic beverage company that made Solid XS, a premium brand of vodka brand which he later sold to a rival liquor business for over $15 million by the age of 24.
Ladi Delano ascribes a lot of his success to his parents who he said gave up everything to give their children access to opportunities in life. One such headstart was in business. Delano’s father was a corporate executive and an MBA lecturer. They spent so much time together studying and dissecting businesses, understanding how they work and how different products come to the market.
The path may have been well lit, but hardship lurked around the corner. While in secondary school, Delano found that he suffered from mild dyslexia and deafness in one ear. Learning became more and more difficult and the idea of school became less appealing. Despite this, with the help of extra lessons, Delano made it to a top university on a day he describes as glorious. The novelty soon wore off and academia became Delano’s nemesis. In his second year of a political science degree, he made up his mind to leave school.
Delano’s decision didn’t go down well at home, but there was no stopping him. At least, the university had planted the idea of becoming an entrepreneur.
After leaving school, he ventured into entrepreneurship, offering career advice to students, trying to get recruiters to advertise their companies to students, and setting up m-commerce retail platforms where students could make purchases with their mobile phones. This failed and six months later, he lost thousands of dollars that he had borrowed.
Ladi Delano is the Co-Founder and CEO at Moove Africa, the world’s first mobility fintech company three years ago.
Founded in 2020 in Nigeria, Moove Africa BV provides vehicle financing to ride hailing drivers in sub-Saharan Africa. Starting with an exclusive partnership with Uber, pioneer, and largest player in passenger car ride-hailing, Moove aims to become the largest vehicle finance company and first mobility fintech in Africa.
Moove is a Nigerian-born global start-up founded by Ladi Delano and Jide Odunsi in 2020. Moove was founded in response to the challenge faced by over 2 million African mobility entrepreneurs - the lack of access to vehicle financing. Moove was initially built to solve this problem in Lagos and has since expanded to 6 cities across Africa.
In 2012, Ladi was recognized by Forbes as one of the youngest millionaires to watch in Africa, and he is now considered one of the wealthiest tech entrepreneurs on the African continent.
The 40-year-old Ladi Delano is a Nigerian serial entrepreneur who made his first million as a liquor entrepreneur while living in China. He has made a significant impact in the African tech ecosystem with his startup, Moove.
At the age of 24, in 2004, he founded Solidarnosc Asia, a Chinese alcoholic beverage company that made Solid XS, a premium brand of vodka. Solid XS eventually had a 50% market share and went on to become a mainstream liquor brand and was being distributed in over 30 cities, pulling in $20 million in annual revenue.
In 3 years, it employed 200 people in 6 provincial offices in Hong Kong. Its vodka, which reportedly controlled 70% of the Chinese market, was sold in 33 cities, a major feat indeed.
Delano then sold the company to a rival liquor company for over $15 million and put his funds into his next venture – a real estate investment holding company with a focus in mainland China.
Bakrie Delano Africa (BDA)
Today, Delano is the co-founder and CEO of Bakrie Delano Africa (BDA) – a $1 billion joint venture with the BakrieGroup of Indonesia. Bakrie Delano Africa stands as the Bakrie Groups’ investment partner in Nigeria.
So far, the Indonesian Conglomerate has provided over $900 million worth of funding for investment in Nigeria and Bakrie Delano Africa identifies opportunities for investment in mining, agriculture, oil & gas, and executes the investment processes.
After building successful businesses in Asia, including Bakrie Delano Africa, a $1-billion joint venture with the Bakrie Group of Indonesia, Delano turned his attention to Moove.
Since its launch in 2019, the startup has expanded to nine markets in Sub-Saharan Africa and India, and it is leading the charge in the mobility fintech sector.
Moove’s commitment to democratizing access to vehicle ownership has allowed the startup to secure a total of $191.1 million in funding. In October, the tech startup raised £15 million ($16.6 million) in debt financing from Emso Asset Management to scale up its UK operations.
This new financing facility will enable Moove to scale up to 10,000 vehicles by the end of 2025, making it the largest electric vehicle partner on Uber’s platform in London.
Moove is addressing the issue of limited access to vehicle financing for gig workers in the ride-hailing, logistics, and instant delivery sectors, of which there are approximately 4.5 million in the UK alone.
The startup estimates that the 10,000 electric vehicles it plans to finance in London by 2025 will contribute to a reduction of approximately 63,000 mega-tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, helping Uber achieve its goal of becoming an all-electric platform in the city by 2025.
Delano’s success as an entrepreneur is a testament to his ability to identify and capitalize on opportunities in emerging markets. As Moove continues to expand and make an impact in the mobility fintech sector, it will be interesting to see what other ventures Delano takes on in the future.