PlentyWaka raises $1.2m seed fund to drive African expansion, acquires Stabus Ghana
Bus-hailing startup, Plentywaka has today announced that it has raised $1.2 just two months after it successfully completed the Techstars Toronto Accelerator Program. According to the startup, the raise will be used to actualise its mission to build the largest shared mobility startup in Africa, one country at a time.
The investment round was led by The Xchange, a Toronto based fund. It had participation from Techstars (following a previous investment in Plentywaka). Other investors include SOSV, the most active VC globally in the angel/seed deal type and ShockVentures, a VC from the United States.
Nigerian investment firms who participated in the round include Argentil Capital Partners and ODBA & Co Ventures, an early-stage investor in Kuda Bank. There were also a couple of angel investors from Canada, the US and Africa who also participated in the seed round to give Plentywaka the much-needed boost to continue its impressive growth.
Plentywaka’s Co-Founder & CEO, Onyeka Akumah told me that the raise is coming at a time when the startup has been able to firm up its offerings going by its experience from over 17 Nigerian cities and is eager to launch into other African countries to solve similar mobility problems.
“We have plans to build the largest shared-mobility company in Africa. We have decided to first expand to other countries in West Africa and from here we will go to other African regions. With this raise, we will be focusing on aggressive marketing to get more people to experience the seamless quality we offer in over 24 cities in Nigeria as well as in our newest market, Ghana,” he said.
Despite suspending its operations for 5 months in 2020 as a result of the global pandemic, Plentywaka has still been able to get 960 vehicles registered on its platform and help its riders commute more than 480,000 times in less than 2 years.
Onyeka said that Plentywaka is going to replicate its model across 6 other African countries within the next 2 years and will be looking for the right kind of investors and partners to join the ‘black and yellow’ movement.
Plentywaka acquires Stabus Ghana
Plentywaka has also announced that it has fully acquired Stabus, one of Ghana’s leading mobility startups.
Stabus was launched in 2019 by its Co-Founder, Isidore Kpotufe who shared that the startup has moved over 100,000 people to Accra, the capital city of Ghana. Their services include daily bus-stop to bus-stop transportation as well as providing staff bus solutions for multinationals like MTN Ghana and GB Foods.
Following up on the acquisition deal, Stabus will now be known as Plentywaka Ghana with the mobility platform offering a range of low-cost and premium vehicles which includes cars, mini-vans and buses
for public transportation.
Isidore Kpotufe will become the Country Manager of Plentywaka Ghana and will be joined by the current Stabus team.
Speaking on the acquisition, Onyeka Akumah said, “Plentywaka’s acquisition of Stabus is a firm statement about our commitment to grow and build the largest shared mobility startup in Africa, one country at a time. Isidore is a brilliant entrepreneur and we are excited about having him and his team execute our plans for the Ghanaian market as Plentywaka Ghana’s operations will commence on the 16th of September in Accra.”
Plentywaka is now a Toronto-headquartered shared mobility company. Asked if the move is related to regulatory concerns, Onyeka indicated that that location had always been part of the plan.
According to him “When we first launched Plentywaka, we wanted to base it out of Nigeria originally. As part of that process, we got into Techstars Toronto. The plan was to allow us to establish in Toronto and be able to do our business from Toronto. At some point, we considered starting operations there but we agreed that Africa is our strong point and we will focus on Africa.
“So Toronto is our headquarters as far as investor relations and business development is concerned especially because most of our investors are from Canada, Asia and the US,” he said.
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