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Nigeria's Treepz expands its vehicle rental offering into Kenya

About a year after its first East African expansion, Nigeria-founded mobility startup, Treepz has expanded its vehicle rental offering into Kenya.

Nigeria's Treepz expands its vehicle rental offering into Kenya
L-R: Treepz co-founders: Johnny Ena, Afolabi Oluseyi, John Shaibu & Onyeka Akumah.

About one year after Nigeria-founded mobility startup, Treepz made its first East African expansion via Uganda, the company has expanded into Kenya as part of its pan-African expansion, starting with Nairobi, then Mombasa.

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In 2021, Treepz acquired Ugandan mobility startup, Ugabus following a $2.8 million seed fundraise. Prior to this acquisition, the company acquired Stabus, a leading mobility startup in Ghana to expand into the West African country.

Unlike its previous expansions, the company which is now operational in Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda and Kenya did not announce an acquisition.

Treepz began its journey in Nigeria in 2019 as Plentywaka. Its co-founders are Onyeka Akumah (CEO), Johnny Enagwolor (Managing Director), Oluseyi Afolabi (VP of Product Development), and John Shaibu (VP of Customer Engagement).

In September 2021, Plentywaka announced its name change to Treepz Inc. to reflect its global and pan-African expansion ambition. "After we discovered the term 'WAKA' could mean different things across Africa, which may be completely different from travel or movement, we decided to change the name from Plentywaka to Treepz — pronounced as Trips", Onyeka said.

The ride-hailing company operates a vehicle rental service that connects vehicle owners with renters on its marketplace, as well as a corporate offering for businesses and schools where it provides commuting services for their employees or students. For its Kenyan expansion, Treepz hired Samar Patel, former Head of Transport-as-a-Service and Software-as-a-Service at Swvl, to lead its operations.

"We are thrilled by the addition of Samar to our team and the launch of Treepz Kenya in Nairobi today. This was made possible with the support we received from our current investors amid a turbulent 2022. Also, after winning the GSA African Award in Cape Town last year, we received funding from its funding arm – GIIG Africa Fund and that was also very timely for us," Co-Founder and CEO of Treepz, Onyeka Akumah, said in a statement seen Benjamindada.com.

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In June 2022, Swvl, Patel's previous workplace halted its intra-city and inter-city rides in Kenya citing the global economic downturn. However, Swvl Business—a product that is focused on corporations, organisations and private entities [similar to one of Treepz's offerings called Business Treepz] remained operational.

In recent times, Treepz has had a strong focus on vehicle rental service or what the company refers to as Business Treepz. This move has also led to Treepz Kenya signing up a couple of high-profile companies to provide commuting services for their employees or students. These companies include reputable firms like Twiga Foods, Abacus Schools, OAK House School, and Diamond Trust Bank, with 20 big-name deals across Kenya in the pipeline.

These partnerships demonstrate the growing demand for Treepz’s innovative solutions, especially with vehicle rental services for businesses, and the company is confident that this trend will continue as it expands its reach.

"Patel brings on 18 years of wealth of sales, transportation and technology experience to the role, having most recently held a similar position with SWVL Kenya. Under his leadership, it is expected that Treepz Kenya will continue to grow and innovate in the region," the company said in the statement.

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