Shuttlers, a Nigerian ride-sharing startup has secured $4 million in a Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures (VKAV)-led funding round with participation from VestedWorld, ShEquity, CMC 21 & Alsa, and EchoVC to scale its operations and expand into five additional Nigerian cities.
Since its inception in 2017, the ride-sharing startup, which provides scheduled bus-sharing services for professionals in Lagos and Abuja, has raised $5.6 million in total funding, including $1.6 million in a seed funding round in 2021.
Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures (VKAV) just last month announced that it has raised $43 million in its ongoing fundraising for its pan-African venture fund, and Shuttlers is one of the current startups in which it has invested.
According to Shuttlers, the funds will be used to build infrastructure to power its mass transit business, increase its ability to serve more corporates, increase its market share, and hire more employees in various departments such as sales, marketing, and customer support.
Despite its humble beginnings, communicating with customers via Slack and WhatsApp, and landing one of its first clients, Andela, Shuttlers now boasts 260 buses that travel 300 routes daily across Lagos and Abuja. Interswitch, MainOne, and Paga are among its more than 80 corporate clients. Shuttlers sells over 9,000 tickets daily to individual and corporate passengers, according to its website, and has recorded 3 million trips. After four years of bootstrapping, it claims to have over 70,000 users on its platform.
Commenting on the round, Damilola Olokesusi, CEO and co-founder of Shuttlers said “We are thrilled to have Verrod Kepple, Vested Word, CMC 21 & Alsa, and SheEquity as partners in our mission to transform passenger transportation in Nigeria. This additional funding will allow us to build the infrastructure we need to power mass transit and expand our reach to five more cities across Nigeria.”
What you should know about Shuttlers
The mission of Shuttlers is to make shared mobility or bus-hailing convenient for working Nigerians. In cities such as Lagos, people without personal cars who cannot afford ride-hailing platforms such as Uber or Bolt must rely on public transportation such as Danfo, which is sometimes overcrowded and uncomfortable.
Shuttlers want to help this group of people commutes comfortably and affordably. The startup accomplishes this by collaborating with businesses to provide mobility-sharing options for their employees. Employees can use the Shuttlers platform to reserve seats on buses traveling along predetermined routes.
Companies can pay for all or part of their employees’ transportation, with the employee covering the rest. Commuters whose employers do not have a partnership with the bus-sharing startup can use the platform by paying a per-trip fee. Unlike other ride-hailing platforms, fares typically range between 850 ($1.96) and 1,300 ($2.60).
Giving reasons for their backing of the six-year-old company, Ory Okolloh, Managing Partner at VKAV said “We are excited to support Shuttlers in their mission to provide safe, reliable, and affordable transportation to Nigerians. Their commitment to creating impact aligns with our vision for investing in companies that impact society positively. We look forward to working closely with Shuttlers to help them achieve their goals.”
While Nneka Eze, General Partner at VestedWorld on her part said “We believe that Shuttlers has the potential to transform the way people move around the world. VestedWorld has invested in nearly 30 companies in East and West Africa and we are proud to be a continued partner in Shuttlers’ journey.”