In a candid conversation, we engaged with Praise Sakanwi, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of TREKK scooters, Africa's leading electric scooter-sharing platform. Praise, a tech enthusiast shared insights into the company's journey, technological standing, and vision for sustainable urban mobility.



4/23/20242 min read

How would you describe the progress of Trekk operations in Nigeria concerning technological advancements from inception to date?

"Technological growth is generally exponential. When a new technology becomes available, the market tends to stress test, break, and find innovative ways to use that tech. As a result, you tend to see constant iteration, patches, and versions".

What has this progression been like for Trekk scooters?

"We came into the African market as pioneers. The success stories in this industry were primarily in Europe, North America, and Asia. Our strategy was to deploy a product matching the industry standard and watch how our users reacted. We were able to see how our communities react to a shared product, and we learned many lessons on how to make an even better product.

For the most part, our riders just wanted to efficiently go from point A to B with little to no hassle once we could provide that the scooters became more of a necessity and part of their daily routine and commute.

Initially, it was quite difficult to convince people of the idea of a shared electric scooter. But the moment they stood next to one and got to ride it, they immediately saw how it could fit into their daily commute".

" As we keep iterating in the development of our technology our north star remains to provide value to our riders. Whether it’s a rider who uses the scooters every morning and evening from and to their living quarters or a luxury rider who wants to have fun rides with friends, or a rider running late for lectures. They all can derive value using our scooters. The next step is to improve the technology to closely meet their needs for seamlessness, safety, autonomy, and accessibility ".

What were some of your biggest technology challenges?

" Technology challenges? We have had our share of technology challenges.

Let’s talk about MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators). Picking the right MVNO was an art. We tried a couple and paid premium prices each time. Four years ago, there were no MVNOs in Africa ready to supply us with the services we needed to power our scooters, so we had to use the same services our counterparts in Europe and North America use, making the cost of entry very high for us.

MVNOs are the companies that provide our e-sim cards. These e-sim cards allow our scooters to communicate with our riders and track each scooter. We had to experiment with operators. We did have a few hits and misses, but now we are comfortable with our present operator as we wait for the competition to catch up in Africa".

As a CTO, how will you stay abreast of current trends in technology?

"At the moment, it’s Tech newsletters and tech trade events. I’ve signed up for ten different tech newsletters and Substacks, and I attend tech trade events to keep an eye on what our counterparts are doing. Right now, I’m looking out for data centres in Africa and emerging African MVNOs".