Kenya-based B2B2C mobility marketplace BuuPass has raised $1.30 million in a pre-seed funding round led by Founders Factory Africa.
The round also saw participation from Google Black Founders Fund, Gullit VC, Five35 VC, Artha India Ventures, FrontEnd Ventures, Adaverse, Renew Capital, Changecom, XA Network, Ajim Capital, and Daba Finance.
According to the startup, The raised funds raised will be used for expanding into East African markets with a special focus on Kenya and Uganda since the Company aims to increase its market share in these markets.
This is the first institutional round raised by BuuPass, which previously received $1 million in grants from Bill Clinton-backed Hult Prize.
Sonia Kabra, Co-founder, and Co-CEO, BuuPass, said, “Coming from a small town in India, traveling to larger cities meant long queues and endless wait times for buses or trains. Witnessing the impact of online travel-booking platforms like redBus and IRCTC, I co-founded BuuPass to build the digital infrastructure for transport in Africa. With the support of our investors, we’re thrilled to scale our product and expand our reach, making transportation more seamless and accessible."
"This funding will enable us to expand our footprint in Kenya and Uganda. Our goal is to create a comprehensive continent-wide network of interconnected transport that make traveling hassle-free for all," Sonia said.
Founded in 2016 by Wyclife Omondi and Sonia Kabra, BuuPassfollows a B2B2C approach and provides fleet owners with a full-stack bus management system (‘BMS’) for managing their operations, inventory, and sales.
The BMS also includes a point-of-sale solution to capture bookings and provides access to a parcel management module. BuuPass helps customers search, compare and book their tickets across different channels through their marketplace, like websites, apps, and USSD codes.
Anirudh A Damani, Director of Artha India Ventures, said, “The African continent is fast emerging as a startup innovation hotbed. The African ecosystem is churning out many unique investment opportunities that will disrupt the market across sectors. Artha India Ventures is taking an early bet to back potential category winners with immense promise. In that vein, BuuPass has taken the lead in building digital rails for Africa’s intercity transport infrastructure. Based on Artha’s success in navigating this digitization play in India, we are confident that BuuPass will grow rapidly into a market leader.”
BuuPass said it has over 1,200 vehicles registered on its platform from over 25 bus companies. Through its partnership with Safaricom (or M-Pesa), the startup claims to be the sole technology provider for online railway ticket booking in Kenya and generated a GMV of $30 million in CY 2022. It currently processes ~12,000 transactions daily, it said.