South African-based mobility startup WhereIsMyTransport has announced a $14.5 million Series A extension round to expand to other markets.
This round was led by Pan-African VC fund Wuri Ventures and leading global investment firm, Capria Ventures. The two are investing $1.5 million in the startup.
Also joining in the round are Naspers Foundry, AfricInvest, and SBI amongst others. This round follows up on the Series A led by Google, Toyota Tshusho, and others, in which Wuri Ventures also participated.
This is also Wuri Ventures’ second investment in a mobility/logistics startup, the other one being Lori Systems.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Wuri Ventures and Capria Ventures as investors in WhereIsMyTransport, with each organization sharing our strategic focus on emerging markets. Wuri Ventures are increasing their existing holding, a testament to the vast opportunities created by our work producing accurate and comprehensive mobility data in Majority-World megacities.” Devin DeVries, CEO and co-founder, WhereIsMyTransport said.
WhereIsMyTransport plans to utilize funds to scale up the technology, to expand to other cities, and to launch Rumbo, their consumer-facing App
WhereIsMyTransport is mapping the ‘route more traveled’. Informal transport networks are 10x the size of formal transport networks, as urban growth outstrips infrastructure and the development of formal transportation options. Due to the resultant lack of centralized coordination, these networks can be unpredictable, inefficient and unsafe. Journey-planning apps work well for commuters in developed markets, but often do not cover informal networks in emerging markets.
WhereIsMyTransport collects and standardizes data including routes, bus stop information, type and quality of vehicles as well as point of interest and usership data, making it available through their data marketplace to leading mapping applications like Google Maps and others.
Launched in Cape Town, South Africa, the company mapped major cities across Africa including Dar Es Salam, Lagos, Gauteng and others, before expanding globally, mapping mega-cities like Mexico City and Dhaka. Currently, WhereIsMyTransport has covered over 950,000 km of routes in 39 cities, and plans to roll out the services to mega-cities across emerging markets in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
”The colorful and ubiquitous mini-buses we have all heard about like Matatus in Kenya, Danfo in Nigeria, and Car Rapide in Senegal, actually reveal a sort of dysfunction in public transportation in many parts of Africa, where the private sector has to shoulder the burden in absence of centralized options. As a result, you’re faced with inefficiency, insecurity and congestion.’’ Tijan Watt, General Partner, Wuri Ventures said.
‘’We realized that technology could play a role in providing coordination and transparency in this industry, taking the place of a central dispatch. WhereIsMyTransport has been at it for longer than most and now they are the global leader in informal public transportation mapping. Another great example of frog-leaping, technology launched in Africa and then backwards propagating to the rest of the world.”
Jack Knellinger, Partner, Capria Ventures noted that solutions bridging the mobility gap for people with low incomes allows them to save both time and money thereby providing the opportunity to secure other essential goods and services.
‘’Mapping the otherwise conspicuous informal transport network and making the data accessible to individuals, businesses, and cities has a profound effect on a region’s economic development and well-being. Capria is committed to back solutions like this, and WhereIsMyTransport is our first co-investment deal in the region with Wuri Ventures. We are pleased to support their global expansion and will continue to invest alongside our fund managers to support their portfolios as they scale regionally and globally.” he said.
Total fundraise by the startup now amounts to USD $22 million to date.