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Zeelo raises $12.1 million, eyes Africa, other markets

Writer: Joan Aimuengheuwa

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founders of Zeelo
L-R: Barney Williams and Sam Ryan; founders of Zeelo

Bus-sharing company, Zeelo, has raised $12.1 million to facilitate expansion in Africa, the UK, the US and Europe.

The London-based mobility platform launched in South Africa two years ago and leverages SaaS technology to offer smart transportation services, including fully electric bus shuttle programmes.

Led by ETF Partners, the round included InMotion Ventures and angel investors such as Neil Smith, founder of Transit Systems.

“Zeelo’s focus on public transport deserts directly tackles the issues of poor public transport, transport emissions and social mobility. The growth of the business during the pandemic has been extraordinary and we are delighted to continue to support the business. The world needs more affordable and sustainable mass transit. Zeelo is defining the category” Patrick Sheehan, Managing Partner at ETF Partners said.

Zeelo’s operations cut across the UK, USA and South Africa. So far, it has rendered its services to over 70 customers, has over 75 employees and has a record of 100,000 riders conveyed monthly.

Founded by Sam Ryan and Barney Williams, Zeelo asserts to have recorded 600% revenue growth over the last 18 months, gaining regional profitability.

The company has achieved this by supporting companies in the logistics and manufacturing industries, including post-pandemic hybrid workplaces and schools.

The company provides affordable and convenient transport services that enable access for people in poorly served and remote areas, to arrive at work and school using sustainable and safe means of transportation. It provides a viable alternative to public transport options or driving of cars, thereby reducing carbon dioxide emissions brought about by commuting.

Turnkey and SaaS solutions are offered to customers such as Liberty, Stanlib, GlaxoSmithKline, Firmenich and Amazon by the company.

“What we’ve seen is the lack of safe and efficient shared transport. Amongst our shift-worker customers, 30% of staff struggle to get to work as they don’t have access to safe transport. Zeelo is playing an important role in improving social mobility and decarbonising transportation. In the past 18 months, employers have realised the importance of it too. Now it’s time to bring this to the masses” said Sam Ryan, co-founder and CEO of Zeelo.

The company will utilise the funds raised to facilitate its growth across Africa and other countries. It will make its SaaS solution accessible to more fleet operator partners, motivating the transition to zero-emission buses and coaches.

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