Plentywaka, a Nigerian transport startup, has announced that it has secured a $300,000 pre-seed investment that will also help it launch into Abuja. The pre-seed investment funding round is led by EMFATO, Microtraction, and Niche Capital.
Plentywaka has been running a ride-hailing bus service in Lagos since September 2019. With the success in the city, it appears it has validated a market need.
“Securing investment and expanding into Abuja within our first year, in the midst of a pandemic speaks volumes of the demand for the service we provide. We are excited to have investment partners on board that see and believe in our vision. An efficient transport system is fundamental to the prosperity of any city and we believe safe, convenient and comfortable travel should not just be for the few; but for everyone. Plentywaka in Abuja brings us closer to transforming transport in Nigeria, one state at a time,” said Johnny Enagwolor, Managing Director and Co-Founder, Plentywaka.
Lack of reliable public transport in Nigeria
Plentywaka cites research that says that 70% of people in Nigeria’s capital city rely on public transport and that, in the absence of a robust transport system, they have identified a significant gap in Nigeria's transport market for a more reliable and efficient bus service in Abuja.
In recent years the Lagos State Government has banned one form of public transportation that proved popular, namely okadas (motorbike taxis). This ban led to many okada-hailing startups pivoting to logistics and leaving a market gap for a reliable public transport service to fill.
However, both the okada-hailing startups and Plentywaka are essentially performing a service that should be a public service delivery function by the government. This lack of public transportation by the government leaves a gap that can be filled by private companies.
The startup reports that since their launch in September 2019, they have serviced over 40,000 customers, reaching a milestone of 100,000 rides after just 6 months.
Apart from expanding into Abuja, Plentywaka has also launched solution-driven services such as Logistics by Plentywaka and its Staff Bus Solutions.
"Plentywaka's rapid growth since they launched Q3 last year has been tremendous so far. We are glad to be partnering with a very strong team that is passionate about providing convenience, safety, and comfort to everyday commuters. The distressful and uneasy experience by the majority of these commuters, especially in large cities is evident. We are backing the Plentywaka team to change that experience for commuters progressively by creating a transport system that is efficien," said Dayo Koleowo, Partner at Microtraction.