BY TOM JACKSON
Nigerian bus-hailing startup Plentywaka has been accepted into the Techstars Toronto accelerator programme, securing US$120,000 in the process as it sets it sights on global expansion.
Launched in 2019 by Onyeka Akumah, Johnny Ena, John Shaibu and Afolabi Oluseyi, the Lagos-based Plentywaka is a bus-hailing solution that allows commuters to book and pay for trips in real-time.
The startup has seen substantial growth over the last year, completed 300,000 rides and also launching a B2C logistics platform. Having raised a US$300,000 pre-seed funding round last year to expand to Abuja and other Nigerian states, it has now been accepted into the Techstars Toronto accelerator and secured an additional US$120,000.
Plentywaka co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Onyeka Akumah, also founder of agri-tech startup Farmcrowdy, said he was excited about the new investment, which would see the startup embark on an international expansion push.
“This is the second time a startup I founded will go through a Techstars accelerator programme 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,” he said.
Meanwhile, Plentywaka has taken a big step towards launching its city-to-city service for Nigerians, where commuters traveling from one state to another within the country can now purchase discounted bus tickets from the Plentywaka mobile app.
With this added feature, commuters can choose their preferred bus transportation company from the list of partners listed on the Plentywaka app from the comfort of their homes. To kickstart this service, Plentywaka is partnering with some major bus travel companies in Nigeria.
“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,” said Johnny Ena, president and co-founder of Plentywaka.