BY TOM JACKSON
Nigerian tech-enabled mobility startup Shuttlers has raised a US$1.6 million seed round and shared plans to scale operations across cities in Africa.
Founded in 2016 by Damilola Olokesusi, Shuttlers allows commuters to move in comfort along selected routes at affordable rates, with trips along fixed routes going for up to 80 per cent lower than other ride-hailing services.
Commuters are also able to take charge of their schedules with Shuttlers’ subscription feature which enables them to book rides in advance over an extended period of choice. So far, the startup has facilitated over five million trips.
It is now set to scale further after raising a US$1.6 million seed round led by VestedWorld, a Chicago-based, Africa-focused venture capital company, and also featuring Interswitch, Rising Tide Africa, Launch Africa Ventures, EchoVC Partners, CMC 21, Alsa, ShEquity, Five35, Consonance, CcHub Syndicate, Sakore, and Nikky Tarus.
Shuttlers will invest this round into scaling its operations to other cities across Nigeria first, and then other cities in Africa. The company will also look to optimise its processes and solve existing inefficiencies with access to more technological solutions.
“These are exciting times for us at Shuttlers, and I will like to take the opportunity to thank our investors for believing in what we are building. This raise will help in furthering our mission at Shuttlers to transform the way people commute around the world, by building a global partner network and connecting communities of shuttlers like we are presently doing in Lagos,” said Olokesusi.
“Anyone who has ever lived in a major city in Africa can attest to the back-breaking impact of inefficient mobility. The transport options available to the masses in Africa are very substandard in comparison to what is obtainable in the more developed world. It is directly linked to a poor quality of life, mental health, and ultimately reduced productivity. The impact is even more severe on the more vulnerable population in our society; women, children, physically challenged, and the elderly – and Shuttlers is very passionate about ensuring inclusion for those groups of commuters. I’m confident that our tech-enabled mobility solutions can solve some of these urban mobility challenges sustainably.”