Plentywaka, a Nigerian bus-hailing startup, has raised a pre-seed capital of $300,000. It is also expanding to Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja.
The pre-seed round investment was led by Niche Capital, Microtraction and EMFATO Holdings.
Recall that until recently, Plentywaka was a portfolio company under CrowdyVest Holdings. The holding company has undergone a reshuffling process and is now operating under a new name: EMFATO Holdings.
Plentywaka; crowdfunding agritech startup, Farmcrowdy; and investment platform, Crowdyvest are all subsidiaries of the newly-formed holding company.
Plentywaka launched in Nigeria’s largest city, Lagos, in September 2019. Since then, it has gone on to do over 100,000 rides across 7 routes in the commercial city. It has also secured over 40,000 customers in the process.
Almost a year later, the company has raised a pre-seed capital for its expansion to Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja.
In Abuja, most professionals rely on taxis to get to their destinations and this can be expensive. Plentywaka is positioning itself as a solution by identifying a significant gap in the city’s public transport space.
According to the company, it will launch with five routes and customers will get free travel for a week. Also, routes will include Lugbe, a suburban area in Abuja to Area 1, Garki, a popular commercial and administrative area in the city.
The pre-seed capital will not only be used for expansion to Abuja and other states. According to the company, part of the funding will be used to improve its mapping technology on both Android and iOS apps, its customer experience, and to introduce better payment options.
The Co-founder and Managing Director of the startup, Johnny Enagwolor, had this to say about the investment and Abuja launch:
“Securing investment and expanding into Abuja within our first year, in the midst of a pandemic speaks volumes of the demand for the service we provide. We are excited to have investment partners on board that see and believe in our vision. Plentywaka in Abuja brings us closer to transforming transport in Nigeria, one state at a time.”
A partner at Microtraction, one of the investors in the round, Dayo Koleowo, said the investment firm was impressed with Plentywaka’s progress since launching in the third quarter of last year. The aforementioned progress and the problem the startup is trying to solve in large cities are some of the reasons Microtraction is backing the one-year-old startup.
“The distressful and uneasy experience by the majority of these commuters, especially in large cities is evident. We are backing the Plentywaka team to change that experience for commuters”, Koleowo said.
On the company’s efforts during the pandemic, it launched its Staff Bus Solutions in May to ensure a safer commute of its staff customers.
Last month, the company expanded its offerings in Logistics by Plentywaka, a same-day delivery logistics service.