Nigerian MaaS startup Treepz closes $2.8M seed spherical to fund east African growth – •

Nigeria-based Mobility-as-a-Service platform Treepz (previously Plentywaka) has acquired Ugabus, a Ugandan bus firm that aggregates inter-city bus operators. Whereas the phrases of the deal weren’t disclosed, Onyeka Akumah, CEO and co-founder of Treepz, advised • that the acquisition was funded with a current $1.5 million increase that acted as an extension to a earlier seed spherical.

The seed extension, which got here from new traders together with Japan-based Uncovered Fund, Dubai-based Blanford Capital and Jonomi Capital and Egypt-based Jedar Capital, provides onto an August increase of $1.3 million, funding Treepz used to buy Stabus, a Ghanian bus firm, to fund its growth plans throughout the continent. Treepz is closing the seed spherical at $2.8 million.

The acquisition, which is able to see Treepz totally purchase all of Ugabus’s operations and employees, marks Treepz’s first entry into the East African market. Ugabus, which will likely be renamed Treepz Uganda on December 1, at the moment has 70% of all of the nation’s bus operators on its platform, which incorporates round 50,000 prospects that use the service to journey between cities in Uganda, in keeping with Treepz.

“We’ll be capable to service many of the main cities in Uganda, however the advantage of East Africa is that they have very seamless borders between the international locations, so it’s straightforward to maneuver from Uganda to Rwanda, Uganda to Tanzania, Tanzania to Burundi, and so forth,” Akumah advised •. “The plan is to increase into Tanzania and Burundi first. These are locations we’ll take note of subsequent 12 months. We’re additionally actually concerned with Ethiopia. So the identical factor we have been doing with Ghana, throughout Ghana to Togo and Benin from Nigeria for the West African area. So subsequent 12 months, we’ll consolidate on our positions on East Africa and West Africa and begin collapsing into on in Sub Saharan Africa.”

In Lagos, Treepz’s hometown, the startup’s enterprise mannequin consists of three verticals. The principle service, “Each day Treepz,” is like Uber for minivans and buses. It affords riders in a metropolis fastened each day routes from bus cease to bus cease, permitting them to order seats utilizing the app and pay by way of a digital pockets system. “Journey Treepz” is the startup’s intercity bus service, which permits Treepz to behave as an aggregator for different bus firms, much like what Ugabus’s mannequin is. Lastly, Treepz has not too long ago launched company bookings, offering transportation providers for companies.

When Treepz Uganda launches this week, it’ll begin with intercity and company providers.

“We’ll take a look at the chance of doing Each day Treepz there sooner or later, however for now it’s simpler for us to launch there with what we have already got and what the crew is already used to,” stated Akumah. 

Intracity journeys account for almost all of Treepz prospects, stated Akumah, as a result of it’s a each day service that folks use twice a day, 5 days per week, spending a mean of $2 to $3 on a regular basis commuting.

“Bus operators are beginning to see us as a expertise accomplice towards competitors,” stated Akumah. “The Treepz expertise as a listing administration system can now be utilized by the bus operators to energy their totally different techniques. And that in flip, seems to be an incredible alternative for progress for us. So we see a future the place as we mixture bus operators for metropolis to metropolis, and we additionally work with bus operators inside cities. It simply grows the numbers over time across the transactions that occur on our platform.”

Along with the seed funding, Treepz additionally not too long ago acquired funds from Google’s African Funding Fund, which the startup will use to aggressively increase its on-demand ride-sharing and intercity bus ticketing providers in Africa. The corporate had beforehand outlined plans to increase so far as Toronto, the place Treepz has backing after being accepted into Techstars Toronto, however is focusing as an alternative on serving to digitize and modernize the African transportation ecosystem.

“Treepz is constructing an important mobility infrastructure in Africa’s megacities,” stated Takuma Terakubo, CEO and basic accomplice of Uncovered Fund, in an announcement. “The event of public transportation is crucial in African international locations the place urbanization is advancing.”


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