Founded in 2019 by two young local entrepreneurs who identified an opportunity to brand the thousands of delivery bikes on the road, MotionAds integrates brand exposure while empowering drivers to earn additional income by carrying third-party advertising on the top box of their bikes.

This shared-value model approach has seen drivers cumulatively earning over R10-million since 2019, up from just R3-million nearly two years ago.

The surge in motorbike advertising coincides with the growth of online and on-demand shopping since the pandemic. There has been a rapid expansion of delivery bikes on the road and the serviceable suburbs they now cover. It is now extremely convenient to receive takeaways, products and groceries directly to the home, often within an hour.

According to FNB Merchant Services, the South African e-commerce market doubled from 2019 to 2022 — from R90-billion per annum to just under R20- billion — and predicts this will grow to R400-billion in 2025. 

Jon Berkowitz, MotionAds co-founder, says their company has reported over 70% year-on-year growth over the past two years, mainly from new industries using the advertising platform.

"Originally, our clients were more home services and consumer brands, but more industries like retail, telecoms and automotive are seeing the value of advertising on our moveable billboards, proving the captive audience our bikes reach on a monthly basis," says Berkowitz.

According to Berkowitz, the company has invested in technology via an app that creates a dashboard for brands to track driver movement and average 'eyeballs' (impressions) per bike per month. This growth trajectory has meant MotionAds can support more micro-enterprises on two wheels.

"By partnering with us to advertise on their bike's top box, delivery drivers earn extra revenue. This means banking extra cash for tanks of fuel, data or savings for their families," Berkowitz says.

Driver Nkululeko Thomo has been with MotionsAds for six months.

"It has changed my life. Basically, they are paying for my cellphone contract and petrol," says Thomo.

In 2022, MotionAds partnered with Uber Eats to access more top-rated delivery drivers on their platform. Charles Mhango, head of operations for sub-Saharan Africa at Uber Eats, says this has helped create a new source of revenue for delivery people with the backdrop of inflationary pressures that come with the cost of running their businesses.

"Our commitment is to continuously find ways of helping delivery people maximise their earning potential by helping them get the most out of their time on the road, and this partnership achieves that, says Mhango.

"We recognise the entrepreneurial spirit inherent in our delivery drivers, so we offer financial incentives as well as training opportunities and exclusive deals from reward partners. This holistic approach has cultivated a sense of community among drivers, facilitated by driver engagement events and dedicated communication channels," says Berkowitz.

Looking ahead, Berkowitz says the future looks promising for bike advertising, with plans to expand in the interest of both the company and drivers. The company's recent initiatives, including distributing flyers and in-home samples with each meal, will maximise drivers' earning potential. Drivers can now sign up for two non-competing campaigns simultaneously and earn additional sales commissions. 

"Bike advertising is increasingly a compelling marketing solution due to its ability to reach doors in gated communities and its widespread exposure as bikes drive an average of 70 km daily. Over 90% of clients renew their advertising campaigns, which benefits drivers and future drivers. Clients usually start small with 50-odd bike campaigns with an initial three-month contract, then increase to 150 bikes for 12 months," says Berkowitz. 

"In a marketing landscape characterised by rapid technological advancements and evolving consumer behaviours, we are excited to champion the cause of micro-enterprises on two wheels while redefining modern marketing, one delivery at a time," Berkowitz conlcudes. 

For more information, visit You can also follow MotionAds on Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram.

*Image courtesy of contributor