Plentywaka Founder Onyeka Akumah and his team are planning to make their international debut in the Canadian market after recently receiving $120,000 backing from Techstars Toronto.
The bus transportation-technology company which started in 2019, provides transport options via its app using its own buses and in partnership with other bus firms, and says it has transported more than 300,000 commuters since its launch. It is one of four Nigerian start-ups chosen for the accelerator program.
“Public transportation is complex, and stakeholders’ engagement is critical for expansion. Canada came in well for us with its government support, and this makes the environment conducive,” Akumah says. “We’ve been in talks with some African countries over expansion too. So far, this market has been extremely promising. We intend to hit the ground running once we finalize our seed round this quarter.”
“Nine million people shouldn’t have to hustle for buses and we are going to change that. Our app allows commuters to book the cheapest city-city bus tickets and enjoy in-city rides,” the innovators say on their website.
Sunil Sharma, the managing director of Techstars Toronto, said his firm 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.
The startup which launched in Lagos in September 2019 uses Android and iOS apps that allow riders to book seats and schedule their journeys from one part of the state to another. Riders can pay for their trips using an in-app ‘Wakapurse’ e-wallet.
PlentyWaka’s mission is to “change the transportation landscape” by decongesting the road and “providing a safe and convenient transport system for bus drivers”. The current transport system is not only uncomfortable for commuters, it is also riddled with challenges that limit the earnings of drivers.
“Our new solution will be targeted at disrupting and massively improving the transportation system and solving some of its age-old problems.
“This new solution will create a profound impact in the transportation sector. It will create employment opportunities for bus drivers, vehicle assistants, engage vehicle maintenance personnel, and also create a better and safer transportation system for daily commuters in Lagos state,” Akumah said.