Black Business: Nigeria’s Treepz Raises $1.5 Million To Provide Modern Transportation System For Africans

by Duke Magazine

Nigerian transportation platform, Treepz has now acquired Ugabus — a bus transportation service that groups inter-city bus operators in Uganda — due to an acquisition totaling $1.5 million in funding.

According to TechCrunch, the funds served as an addition to a previous seed round from August, in which $1.3 million was raised. The contributors to the extension were Japan-based Uncovered Fund, Dubai-based Blanford Capital and Jonomi Capital, and Egypt-based Jedar Capital.

With recent funding, Ugabus — to be renamed Treepz beginning on Dec. 1 — currently houses 70 percent of the country’s bus operations and over 50,000 customers in Uganda, TechCrunch reports. Now the Nigerian transportation platform is one step closer to fulfilling its plans to expand throughout the continent.

​​“We’ll be able to service most of the major cities in Uganda, but the good thing about East Africa is they have very seamless borders between the countries, so it’s easy to move from Uganda to Rwanda, Uganda to Tanzania, Tanzania to Burundi, and so forth,” Founder and CEO Onyeka Akumah said, according to TechCrunch. “The plan is to extend into Tanzania and Burundi first. Those are places we will pay attention to next year. We are also really interested in Ethiopia. So the same thing we were doing with Ghana, across Ghana to Togo and Benin from Nigeria for the West African region. So next year, we will consolidate on our positions on East Africa and West Africa and start collapsing into on in Sub Saharan Africa.”

Currently, the vehicle-hailing app offers three verticals catering to inner-city riders. As the Nigerian startup is set to debut in Uganda this week, it plans to lead with two verticals, corporate bookings and “Travel Treepz,” which allows the mobile service to function as an “aggregator” for surrounding bus companies, TechCrunch reports.

“Bus operators are starting to see us as a technology partner against the competition,” said Akumah, according to TechCrunch. “The Treepz technology as an inventory management system can now be used by the bus operators to power their different systems. And that in turn, turns out to be a tremendous opportunity for growth for us. So we see a future whereas we aggregate bus operators for the city to city, and we also work with bus operators within cities. It just grows the numbers over time around the transactions that happen on our platform.”

Treepz is well on track to fulfilling its promise to modernize Africa’s transportation system. In addition to their recent funding, Google has also pitched in with their African Investment Fund. The investment will propel Treepz’s goal to expand its ride-sharing and intercity bus ticketing services in Africa.

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