Crowdyvest has launched a bus-hailing service, called PlentyWaka. The pilot phase of the service launches today, covering Ajah-CMS route. The first set of users can enjoy two free trips.

According to Onyeka Akumah, Founder and CEO of Crowdyvest, Crowdyvest was launched to foster a broader avenue for economic growth and build a system that will span across Nigeria and Africa. "With the launch of PlentyWaka, we are focusing on creating better infrastructure in transportation for everyday Lagosians", Onyeka said.

You will often hear Lagosians say "moving around in Lagos is an extreme sport". This is because of the horrid road network and terrible traffic congestion. As of July 2017, five million cars and 200,000 commercial vehicles are on Lagos roads, with an average of 227 vehicles per every kilometer.

Transportation in Lagos is a catch 22, especially for car owners. Driving your car makes it one of the 227 vehicles per every kilometer, thereby increasing the possibility of congestion. And boarding public transport is not a pleasant experience too. PlentyWaka wants to resolve this dilemma.

Although the Lagos state government is moving the needle in this regard with LagBUS (BRT), but water pass garri. According to Enrique Penalosa, a Columbian politician, an advanced city is not one where even the poor use cars, but rather one where even the rich use public transport. PlentyWaka aims to make this happen in Lagos.

Bus-hailing just got easier with PlentyWaka

“We understand that there are other platforms [Gona and OBus] offering similar service,” said Onyeka, who is also the Founder of Farmcrowdy. “Our differentiating factor is that we are particular about the value that we create. This is not just a business model for making money; we’re empowering the drivers and creating jobs.”

PlentyWaka

PlentyWaka is being sponsored by users of Crowdyvest, an investment platform introduced by Farmcrowdy in July that allows you to invest in agriculture and transportation with a minimum capital of ₦60,000 and receive 20% annualized returns.

Some of the stakeholders present at the official launch of PlentyWaka include the Lead Pastor of The Elevation Church (TEC), Godman Akinlabi, and Pastor Debo Omotunde, resident pastor of TEC Mainland Centre. Representatives of the Lagos State Traffic Management and the Federal Road Safety Corps were also present to witness the commissioning of the buses at Pistis Event Centre, Lekki, on August 29.

25 15-seater buses were commissioned for the pilot phase. These buses are manufactured by Chinese automobile company, Foton Motor. Foton passenger and commercial vehicles are assembled and distributed by Kewalram Chanrai Group in Nigeria.

According to Onyeka, the buses are released to the drivers at no cost. “They [the drivers] will eventually own the vehicle after three years,” Onyeka said. “And during the three years, they will be paid monthly—a sum higher than what some ride-hailing services currently offer.”

How does PlentyWaka work?

How PlentyWaka works

It simply works like every other ride-hailing service. Except that rather than booking a whole ride, you will be booking seats on PlentyWaka. Here is a simple guide on the process:

  • Download the app (iOS or Android)
  • Sign up
  • Input your destination
  • Select the nearest bus and choose your seat
  • Meet up with bus at the pickup location (There is a 3-minute wait time).
  • Start your waka

PletyWaka will run a test phase for about 12 weeks. During this period, PlentyWaka buses will be working from 5:00 AM to 10:30 PM.

Speaking on the cost, Afolabi Oluseyi, VP of Operations at PlentyWaka, said: “Considering the circumstance, it is very affordable.”

How is PlentyWaka different?

With this launch, PlentyWaka joins OBUS, the bus-hailing service launched by OPay recently. Another player in the space bus-sharing space is Gona. But unlike the other services, Gona is an application for transport fare payment.

PlentyWaka has been in the works as far back as April, when Johnny Enagwolor was appointed as its Managing Director. Prior to his appointment, Johnny was the CEO of Frycon Nigeria Limited. He has also served as the head of E-Business and Platforms at Ecobank and senior manager of E-Business Unit at Stanbic IBTC.

We are starting small [with 25 buses] to understand the model and test the market. The next phase for us will be to increase the number of buses to 300 and cover more areas.

Onyeka said

According to the Managing Director, Johnny Enagwolor, PlentyWaka is the next step for the future of the transport system in Lagos. Having access to safe, convenient and accessible transportation options is crucial to reducing bad driving, road accidents, and related eventualities.

PlentyWaka is targeted at providing its riders with comfort, security and reliable rides at pocket-friendly rates.


*Update: this post has been corrected on September 18 to clarify that Onyeka Akumah is the CEO of Crowdyvest, while Kenneth Obiajulu heads Farmcrowdy as the Managing Director.