Home Enterprise Tech Nigeria’s Plentywaka gets backing from Techstars, plans expansion to Canada

Nigeria’s Plentywaka gets backing from Techstars, plans expansion to Canada

Nigeria’s Plentywaka gets backing from Techstars, plans expansion to Canada

Plentywaka, a Nigerian bus-reserving platform, today launched that it has been accredited into the Techstars Toronto accelerator program.

This could perchance perchance be a part of nine other startups in the class of 2021 and rating funding from the accelerator because it devices its sights on global expansion.

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The Lagos-basically based firm, based by Onyeka Akumah, Johnny Ena, John Shaibu and Afolabi Oluseyi, operates an ‘Uber-for-buses’ model connecting commuters with buses by an app.

Plentywaka launched in September 2019, and in the principle two months, moved a median of six of us day-to-day, according to CEO Akumah. By its sixth month, this number increased to about 1,500 day-to-day, and the firm finished more than 100,000 rides interior that timeframe.

Then in March 2020, the pandemic-led to lockdown hit agencies at some level of Lagos and other states interior Nigeria. Due to the persona of its replace, Plentywaka had to possess a cramped pivot and started transporting mandatory products and services at some level of Lagos, especially meals objects. It furthermore opened a logistics provider.

As the lockdown eased at some level of the metropolis and commuting resumed, the firm moved 60% ability while the operational cost remained the same. Despite the truth that growth changed into once real and deciding on up, the firm began looking for external investment. It received $300,000 pre-seed from its parent firm, EMFATO and other early-stage investors admire Microtraction and Arena of interest Capital in August.

Backed with the fresh funding, Plentywaka has since doubled down on its core offering — transporting of us by buses. The logistics arm that it launched, as properly as a automobile provider, have since been shuttered.

Akumah says the level of curiosity on a first-rate offering has paid a dividend. The firm has expanded its intrastate products and services into two other cities in Nigeria including the country’s capital metropolis, Abuja and has moved about 300,000 of us. Following this announcement though, there are immediate plans to open an interstate provider at some level of utterly different cities in Nigeria.

This provider will examine Plentywaka accomplice with some predominant bus skedaddle corporations, which collectively have more than 2000 buses and ply over 100 routes in the country. Plentywaka acts as an aggregator, and commuters can examine alternate strategies of relatively heaps of transport corporations, examine fares, and guide on its platform.

“Plentywaka is getting to a level where we’re now changing into more admire an aggregator as we onboard transportation corporations on our platform. Interstate skedaddle in Nigeria is recordsdata insufficient, and we need to be the principle firm to solve this.” Ena, co-founder and president of Plentywaka, acknowledged to TechCrunch. 

In addition to this and the fresh capital from Techstars, Plentywaka is having a undercover agent to scale its platform at some level of Africa and North The US. Akumah says this global expansion notion will start with a metropolis in Canada, in all likelihood Toronto, on or prior to Q4 2021.

Sunil Sharma, the managing director of Techstars Toronto, confirmed this to TechCrunch. According to Sharma, Techstars is backing the Nigerian mobility startup due to it’s fixing a huge snort in Nigeria that can be likened to metropolis transportation challenges in other populated cities worldwide.

“We all know that Western cities have legacy transportation programs. Alternatively, there are many transportation challenges, even in a metropolis admire Toronto,” he acknowledged. “And we maintain that Plentywaka’s expertise and skill in bettering the lives of electorate and their day-to-day commute desires can be introduced over to cities in the West good as they are in Africa.”

Plentywaka plans to open its intracity provider first after collaborating the country’s mandatory stakeholders prior to introducing the intercity model. Sharma thinks that virtually all cities in Canada aren’t properly serviced by buses, main to a broken intercity transit infrastructure. Plentywaka’s presence will bring the principal-wished option the metropolis deserves, he says.

“Cities and towns here must have bus connectivity, however they relatively simply don’t have it, and my undercover agent is that the advent of Plentywaka will be an immediate option to the place apart of dwelling quo. This can furthermore resonate with of us as a manner to complement existing transportation alternate strategies,” he acknowledged.

Techstars’ relationship with Akumah furthermore proved mandatory in Plentywaka’s acceptance into the accelerator. A 2d-time Techstars-backed founder, Akumah co-based Farmcrowdy, a Nigerian digital agriculture platform in 2016. Having passed by the accelerator’s Atlanta program four years prior to now with the agritech startup, Akumah is doing the same with Plentywaka. He doubles as CEO at both corporations

The serial founder acknowledged the reference to Techstars is one reason the firm is expanding to Canada as a substitute of neighbouring African worldwide locations.

“If the chance we now have in Toronto correct now to extend changed into once an analogous to what we had in Ghana or South Africa, needless to negate we’ll be having these conversations already. But when we now have the enhance machine from Techstars, Sunil, and regulators in Toronto with out even hanging feet on the ground, I mean that makes it thrilling for us to extend to Canada,” the CEO remarked.

Nigerian or African startups, in popular, usually ever possess their manner into Canada. Plentywaka is on the verge of doing so, and this could perchance be having a undercover agent to discontinuance a seed round from investors to elevate out these expansion plans and extra enhance its expertise.

Nigeria’s Plentywaka gets backing from Techstars, plans expansion to Canada