Following its graduation from the Techstars Toronto accelerator program last month, Lagos-based mobility company Plentywaka has secured a $1.2 million seed investment to expand its operations.
The round was headed by The Xchange, a Canadian venture capital firm, with contributions from SOSV and Shock Ventures, as well as a follow-on investment from Techstars Toronto. Angel investors from Canada, Africa, and the United States, as well as Nigerian firms Argentil Capital Partners, Co Ventures, and ODBA, were among the investors in the seed round. Plentywaka’s CEO Onyeka Akumah told TechCrunch in March that the two-year-old company was seeking to expand both regionally and worldwide. Except for the fact that the firm established its headquarters in Canada, there hasn’t been much progress on the latter. The former, on the other hand, is in the form of a purchase. The business claims to have completed the acquisition of Stabus, a Ghanaian mobility startup, but would not disclose the purchase price.
According to its website, Plentywaka is primarily a bus booking platform, but it also owns around 900 vehicles, ranging from autos to vans to buses. Users can utilize a smartphone application to book intrastate and interstate travel through the company’s Dailywaka and Travelwaka offerings.
Since its introduction in September 2019, Plentywaka claims to have acquired over 80,000 users and completed over half a million rides.
Meanwhile, Stabus launched in Ghana one month after Plentywaka. Isidore Kpotufe, the company’s co-founder and CEO, stated that the company has subsequently moved over 100,000 individuals within Accra, Ghana’s capital.
Since launching their separate firms two years ago, Akumah and Kpotufe stayed in touch often on a personal and commercial basis, according to TechCrunch.
Then, in April of this year, Isidore, fascinated by Plentywaka’s rapid growth, asked Akumah whether his firm had any intentions to expand to Ghana. The CEO of Plentywaka responded affirmatively, disclosing a timeframe that is approaching the end of the year. That meant rivalry, but the partners decided that merging would be beneficial for both firms.
The question of whether to stay with the Stabus name or change it emerged. Ultimately, they chose the latter, rebranding the acquired 12,000-user firm Plentywaka Ghana. Customers of Stabus (now Plentywaka Ghana) include multinationals such as MTN and GB Foods. Meanwhile, Kpotufe assumes the role of Country Manager for the new firm. The firm serves tourists in 21 locations across Nigeria. When Plentywaka Ghana becomes online on September 16, travelers in Accra will be able to utilize the service. Following Accra, the expansion will be replicated in six additional African nations within 24 months. Plentywaka is also raising its Series A to support these growth initiatives, according to Akumah.
“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,” managing director of Techstars Sunil Sharma said in a statement.