Plentywaka is launching in Abuja with five routes and free travel for a week, the Lagos-based bus-sharing startup said in a statement Tuesday. The expansion coincides with a $300,000 pre-seed funding raise, led by EMFATO, Microtraction, and Niche Capital.
The company said it has identified a “significant gap for more reliable and efficient bus service” in the Nigerian capital city, where around 70 percent of commuters reportedly rely on public transport. Routes for the Plentywaka branded vehicles will include the busy Lugbe to Area 1.
With the new cash injection, the plan is to build on its customer experience with developments to the application’s mapping technology to provide more precise tracking for journeys as well as introduce faster and simpler payment options aided by new partnerships with FinTech platforms.
The goal is to “transform the transport system in Nigeria with improved mapping technology,” Plentywaka said, hinting at expansion into other Nigerian states after seeing a speedy growth of its e-hailing bus service in the country’s commercial capital.
Since launching in September 2019, Plentywaka has built a platform of over 40,000 customers and reached 100,000 rides in only six months. The company’s “rapid growth since they launched Q3 last year has been tremendous so far,” said Dayo Koleowo, Partner at Microtraction. “We are backing the Plentywaka team to change that experience for commuters progressively by creating a transport system that is efficient.”
The startup has since added a number of solutions-driven services that include Logistics by Plentywaka, its Staff Bus Solutions, an exclusive service meant to help corporate companies minimize employees’ risk of exposure to the coronavirus disease, and the Waka Purse, an e-wallet payment feature on the Plentywaka app that removes the need to exchange cash on the buses, further eliminating the risk of transmission.
“Securing investment and expanding into Abuja within our first year, in the midst of a pandemic (COVID-19) speaks volumes of the demand for the service we provide,” Co-Founder Johnny Enagwolor said. “Plentywaka in Abuja brings us closer to transforming transport in Nigeria, one state at a time.”
Plentywaka is currently looking for partners to bring their vehicles on board to join the Plentywaka Vehicle Partnership scheme, the company added. It is looking to work with individuals, corporates, and state governments to expand its technology and fleet to provide better transportation services while giving partners an opportunity to earn extra income.