Nigerian bus-hailing startup, Plentywaka has been accepted into the Techstars Toronto accelerator program for the class of 2021.
Plentywaka is one of ten (10) startups selected in the latest batch for the US-based accelerator.
Techstars is an American seed accelerator which advances innovation by connecting entrepreneurs and tech founders with investors, and global corporations. As of 2019, the company had accepted over 1,600 startups into its programs with a combined market capitalisation of $18.2billion.
Plentywaka joins the accelerator as part of its efforts to secure funding and rapidly expand on a global scale.
Following its acceptance into Techstars, Managing Director and Cofounder of PlentyWaka, Johnny Enagwolor says the company plans to introduce an interstate service across different cities in Nigeria.
Plentywaka is getting to a point where we’re now becoming more like an aggregator as we onboard transportation companies on our platform. Interstate travel in Nigeria is data insufficient, and we want to be the first company to solve this.Johnny Enagwolor, Plentywaka MD
Recall that the Plentywaka MD had told Technext at the beginning of the year to expect aggressive expansion in 2021, and this is what is currently playing out.
For its interstate service, Plentywaka plans to partner with major bus travel companies which own over 2000 buses and ply more than 100 routes in the country. Plentywaka has already partnered indigenous auto manufacturer, Innoson Motors to fuel its expansion into Southern Nigeria.
With new funding to come from Techstars, Plentywaka CEO, Onyeka Akumah has disclosed that the bus-hailing startup plans to kickstart its global expansion in Canada, probably Toronto by Q4 2021.
According to Onyeka, the support from Techstars is a big incentive driving the company’s expansion into Canada instead of other African countries.
If the opportunity we have in Toronto right now to expand was similar to what we had in Ghana or South Africa, of course we’ll be having those conversations already.Onyeka Akumah, Plentywaka CEO
“But when we have the support system from Techstars, Sunil, and regulators in Toronto without even putting feet on the ground, I mean that makes it exciting for us to expand to Canada,” he added.
Founded in 2019 by Onyeka Akumah, Johnny Enagwolor, John Shaibu and Afolabi Oluseyi, Plentywaka provides a platform for commuters to order bus rides to their preferred destination.
Having started out in Lagos, Plentywaka completed over 100,000 rides in its first six months of operations and has successfully expanded into the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja) and Delta state in just over a year.
The company has so far raised $300,000 pre-seed funding from its parent company, EMFATO Holdings and other early-stage investors including Microtraction and Niche Capital in August.
Going forward, Plentywaka will be looking to close a seed round from investors to fund its expansion plans and further scale its platform across Africa. Since its launch, Plentywaka says its bus-hailing service has transported about 300,000 commuters acros.
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