Damilola Olokesusi — the founder of Shuttlers — has joined the small percentage of women who have received major funding from venture capital in Africa during 2021.
After experiencing her own trouble securing transportation in Nigeria, Olokesusi would later become driven to find a solution to combat transportation insufficiencies. Her startup Shuttlers was created in 2016 to transport professionals and organizations from buses to work and combat the continent’s transportations costs in Lagos, Nigeria.
Now, the company can further its mission with the help of a successful seed round totaling $1.6 million from investors housed in Nigeria and beyond, TechCrunch reports. The round was led by VestedWorld, a venture capital firm based in Chicago, IL, and Africa. Other investors included Rising Tide Africa, Launch Africa, EchoVC, Consonance Investment, CcHub Syndicate, CMC 21 & Alsa, ShEquity, Five35, Sakore and Nikky Taurus.
Olokesusi acknowledges the interest for these investors was due to the growing need for solutions to resolve the discrepancies within the mobility industry.
“We were not actively looking for investors; however, there is now more attention in the shared mobility industry because of companies like SWVL. Now, investors are interested in this and think local mobility plays can be valuable solutions,” Olokesusi said, according to TechCrunch. “We just made the right decision for the company at this particular right time so we can get ready for the opportunity that happens after. Now we are ready to take over the African market, starting with Nigeria and West African markets in the next couple of months.”
The company plans to use the new funds to continue expanding the company across Nigeria and Ghana. Currently, the company has taken root in Abuja — the capital of Nigeria — but Olokesusi cannot disclose where it will venture to next.
Since Shuttlers’ inception, it has grown to have greater technological capabilities such as a fully functional application that allows its users to book their rides through three plans — the B2B2C plan, B2B and B2C. Additional features include live bus tracking, advanced payments for users with a subscription and optimal routing according to traffic and digital payments, TechCrunch reports.
The startup has over 100 unbranded and branded buses through their platform transporting over 3,000 people per day to over 30 routes with 300 bus stops. To date, the company has a record of two million trips since its launch.
“Our mission 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,” Olokesusi said in a statement, according to TechCrunch.