NIGERIA – Plentywaka, a Nigeria and Canada based mobility startup has raised a US$1.2 million seed round to scale its operations, a month after participating the Techstars Toronto accelerator program.
The startup has also announced that it has fully acquired Stabus, one of Ghana’s leading mobility startups. This is a step to further Plentywaka’s ambition of building the largest shared mobility platform on the African continent, starting with West Africa.
This investment in Plentywaka attracted a wide range of investors from Canada, the United States, China and Nigeria. The Xchange, a Toronto based fund, led this seed round, while Techstars followed on their previous investment in Plentywaka to participate in the round as well.
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.
“We are incredibly excited by our investment in Plentywaka. Techstars is a huge believer in the future of Africa and a proud supporter of African entrepreneurs. Onyeka is a two-time Techstars founder, which deepens this relationship further,” Sunil Sharma, Managing Director of Techstars Toronto, said.
Stabus was launched in 2019 by its Co-Founder, Isidore Kpotufe, who shared that the startup has moved over 100,000 people in 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.
Stabus will now be known as Plentywaka Ghana, with the mobility platform offering a range of low-cost and premium vehicles, including 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 team of Stabus.
“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 commence on the 16th of September in Accra,” Plentywaka’s Co-Founder & CEO, Onyeka Akumah said.
“In addition to our work in Ghana, we are also really happy about the progress we’ve made in Nigeria to scale our Dailywaka service that provides bus-stop to bus-stop transportation service for thousands of commuters.
“Today, we have moved close to half a million people, and that’s a credit to my team’s effort, our heroes (a term used to describe Plentywaka drivers) and our investors who continue to believe and support our growth with their investments. With our Travelwaka service, we have been able to cater for interstate travellers across 21 cities in Nigeria, and we are looking to expand to more cities as new bus partners sign up with us.”
Despite suspending its operations for five months in 2020 due to 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 two years.
According to Onyeka Akumah, expanding into Ghana is just the beginning for the team as it aligns with its Pan-African expansion plan.
He said that Plentywaka is going to replicate its model across six other African countries within the next two years and will be looking for the right kind of investors and partners to join the ‘black and yellow’ movement to provide the best-in-class transportation service connecting cities and communities with technology across Africa.