Many individuals in rising markets depend upon casual public transport to maneuver throughout cities. However whereas there are ride-hailing and bus-hailing functions in a few of these cities, there’s a dire want for journey-planning apps to enhance mobility for customers and scale back the time they spend commuting.
South African startup WhereIsMyTransport is one such firm filling that hole for now. At present, it is asserting a $14.5 million Sequence A extension to proceed its growth throughout rising markets; the corporate already has a presence in South Africa and Mexico.
Naspers, by way of its funding arm, Naspers Foundry, co-led the funding with Cathay AfricInvest Innovation Fund. In response to Naspers, the dimensions of its examine was $3 million. Japan’s SBI Funding additionally participated within the spherical.
The extension spherical is coming a yr after WhereIsMyTransport obtained a $7.5 million Sequence A funding from VC corporations and strategic funding from Google, Nedbank, and Toyota Tsusho Company (TTC).
Devin de Vries, Chris King and Dave New began the corporate in 2015. As a mobility startup, WhereIsMyTransport maps formal and casual public transport networks. The corporate then makes use of knowledge gotten to enhance the general public transport expertise, making commute protected and accessible.
As well as to this, WhereIsMyTransport licenses a few of this knowledge to governments, DFIs, NGOs, operators, and third-party builders. It claims this is finished for analysis, analytics, insights and client and enterprise options functions.
“WhereIsMyTransport began in South Africa, centered on turning into a central supply of correct and dependable public transport knowledge for high-growth markets. We’re thrilled to welcome Naspers as an investor as our journey continues in megacities throughout the bulk world,” mentioned CEO Devin de Vries in a press release.
Final yr once we lined the corporate, it had mapped 34 cities in Africa whereas actively mapping some in India, Southeast Asia and Latin America. Since then, it has solely expanded into Latin America by launching in Mexico Metropolis final November. It has launched its first client product Rumbo which offers community info from all modes of public transport within the area. WhereIsMyTransport at the moment has over 100,000 customers delivering over 750,000 real-time community alerts with plans to launch Rumbo in Lima, Peru, later this yr.
For co-lead investor Naspers Foundry, that is the agency’s first funding in mobility. Thus far, it has funded 4 different South African startups — Aerobotics, SweepSouth, Aerobotics, and Studio Cap — with a give attention to edtech, meals and cleansing sectors.
“We couldn’t go on the chance to again a unprecedented South African founder who has constructed his enterprise right here in Cape City to a world market chief in mapping formal and casual transportation with a powerful give attention to rising markets,” Head of Naspers Foundry Fabian Whate mentioned to TechCrunch.
He additionally provides that there’s an overlap between mobility and the meals and e-commerce companies that appear to be Naspers essential focus from a Naspers perspective. “The worldwide meals and e-commerce companies, typically working in rising markets, are fairly reliant on mobility options. So there’s an awesome overlap between what the Naspers Group does and the imaginative and prescient for WhereIsMyTransport.”
In South Africa, WhereIsMyTransport’s purchasers embrace Johannesburg commuter rail system Gautrain and Transport for Cape City. However, its worldwide consumer base Google, the World Financial institution and WSP, and others.
South Africa CEO of Naspers, Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, mentioned: “Mobility stays an impediment for billions of individuals in high-growth markets internationally. Our funding in WhereIsMyTransport is a sworn statement of our perception that nice innovation and tech expertise is discovered in South Africa, and with the appropriate backing and help, these companies can present options to native challenges that may enhance the lives of atypical folks in South Africa and overseas.”