Shuttlers — a Lagos-based tech-enabled bus sharing company — has raised $1.6 million in a seed round led by VestedWorld, a Chicago and Africa-based investment firm.
Founded in 2016 by Damilola Olokesusi to address the issue of inefficient transportation costs in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos. Through its ridesharing platform, Shuttlers provides companies with better mobility options for their employees.
With a landmass of about 3,600 square kilometers, Lagos is the smallest state in Nigeria, representing just 0.4% of the entire country. However, over 8 million people travel to work each day on the 9,100 roads and expressways available in Lagos. These figures depict congestion as Lagos has too many people and too few roads.
Shuttlers has led the revolutionization of shared mobility through its innovative solutions and service offerings, that enables users to schedule rides in advance over a period of time fixed routes at 80 percent lower rates than other ride-hailing services without the surges and peak-period pricing.
Damilola [CEO and co-founder] and her team bootstrapped the business which has now grown from one route — Ajah to Victoria Island to over thirty routes, more than 300 bus-stops, over 100 [unbranded] buses within the city and, has recorded over 2 million trips taken by commuters.
Addressing the mission of Shuttlers, Damilola Olokesusi said "our mission at Shuttlers is to transform the way people commute around the world, by building a global partner network and connecting communities of Shuttlers like we are presently doing in Lagos, Nigeria. The negative impact of inefficiencies in the mobility space is visible in the quality of life, mental health, and work productivity of commuters".
"We also see its impact on the more vulnerable and neglected population in our society; women, children, physically challenged, and the elderly. I’m confident that our smart mobility solutions can solve some of these urban mobility challenges sustainably and also reduce carbon emission", she said.
Nneka Eze, Managing Director at VestedWorld, said, "we believe our investment will help Shuttlers extend its offering to adjacent markets and help solve inefficiencies in the transportation sector across regions in Africa"
"We are very excited to back Damilola in this venture and work alongside a group of committed financial and strategic investors to scale this further" - Lavanya Anand, Principal at VestedWorld
Other investors [mostly female investors and female led investment firms] that participated in the round include, Interswitch, Rising Tide Africa, Launch Africa, EchoVC, CMC 21 & Alsa, ShEquity, Five35, Consonance Investment, CcHub Syndicate, Sankore, and Nikky Taurus.
The company will invest this round into scaling its operations to other cities across Nigeria, before expanding to other regions in Africa. The company will also look to improve and ease its processes and solve existing inefficiencies with access to more technological solutions.