Plentywaka, a Nigerian bus-booking platform, announced on March 17, 2021, that it has been accepted into the Techstars Toronto accelerator program.
The Lagos-based company, founded by Onyeka Akumah, Johnny Ena, John Shaibu and Afolabi Oluseyi, operates an “Uber-for-buses” model connecting commuters with buses via an app.
Plentywaka launched in September 2019, and in the first two months, moved an average of six people daily, according to CEO Akumah. By its sixth month, this number increased to about 1,500 people daily, and the company completed more than 100,000 rides within that time frame.
Sunil Sharma, the managing director of Techstars Toronto, confirmed this to TechCrunch. According to Sharma, Techstars is backing the Nigerian mobility startup because it’s solving a massive problem in Nigeria that can be likened to urban transportation challenges in other populated cities worldwide.
“We know that Western cities have legacy transportation systems. However, there are many transportation challenges, even in a city like Toronto,” he said. “And we think that Plentywaka’s technology and approach in improving the lives of citizens and their daily commute needs can be brought over to cities in the West just as they are in Africa.”
Plentywaka plans to launch its intracity service first after engaging the country’s necessary stakeholders before introducing the intercity model. Sharma thinks that most cities in Canada aren’t well serviced by buses, leading to a broken intercity transit infrastructure. Plentywaka’s presence will bring the much-needed option the city deserves, he says.
“Cities and towns here should have bus connectivity, but they quite simply don’t have it, and my view is that the arrival of Plentywaka will be an immediate option to the status quo. It will also resonate with people as a way to supplement existing transportation options,” he said.
Story is from TechCrunch’s article by Tage Kene-Okafor.
Photo Credit: Plentywaka