By Juliet Umeh
… Launches city-to-city service for Nigerians
Bus-hailing application company, Plentywaka, has announced a new investment from an American global platform for investment and innovation, Techstars, to gain funding, mentorship and access to experts.
This is as the startup currently sets its sights on global expansion after one year of moving over 300,000 riders in Nigeria. It will also join nine other startups in the Techstars Toronto accelerator programme, Class of 2021.
In another development, the company has launched its city-to-city service for Nigerians, where commuters travelling from one state to another within the country can now purchase discounted bus tickets from its mobile app.
With this added feature, commuters have the luxury of choosing their preferred bus transportation company from the list of partners listed on the company’s app from the comfort of their homes.
To kick-start the service, it would be partnering with some major bus travel companies in Nigeria including Libra Motors with over 300 buses in their fleet along with four other players with a capacity of more than 2000 buses plying over 100 routes across Nigeria.
Co-Founder and CEO of Plentywaka, Onyeka Akumah, said: “We are very excited about this new investment to partner with Techstars. This is the second time a startup I founded will go through a Techstars accelerator program and we are truly happy they have believed in our ability again to execute.
“The Plentywaka team will join the Techstars Toronto program to gain further funding, mentorship, and access to a rich network of entrepreneurs and experts in the travel industry. This will also see us expanding globally to other countries, starting with a city in Canada on or before the fourth quarter of 2021.”
Also, Managing Director, Techstars Toronto, Sunil Sharma said: “Our only goal is to leverage the broader ecosystem to support and grow these incredible companies. Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, and strong partners and mentors help make this happen,”
According to Plentywaka, 18 months after it started its journey of moving commuters through their daily commute, it has been able to raise prior seed funding of $300,000 from Microtraction, Niche Capital, and EMFATO in the year 2020.
It also expanded its services into two other cities in Nigeria with its partnership with Innoson Vehicles Manufacturing.
Speaking on the new City-to-City service, President and Co-founder of Plentywaka, Johnny Ena said: “This is a major step towards developing a robust and reliable transport system in the country. We want to make the bus booking service a lot easier and accessible for over 20 million Nigerians that commute from one state to the other on a daily basis. We believe this would change inter-state commuting for not just stakeholders like bus-operators but also the riders themselves with more options.”