Artha India Ventures, the alternative investment arm of the family office of Ashok Kumar Damani, has backed Kenya-based mobility marketplace BuuPass, marking its third bet in the African continent.
The Mumbai-based early-stage investor’s infusion into BuuPass is a part of its $1.30 million pre-seed funding round led by Founders Factory Africa.
The fundraise also saw participation from Google Black Founders Fund, Gullit VC, Five35 VC, FrontEnd Ventures and Adaverse, Renew Capital among others.
This is the first institutional round raised by BuuPass, which had earlier bagged $1 million in grants from Bill Clinton-backed Hult Prize. The fresh proceeds will be deployed to expand into East African markets with a special focus to Kenya and Uganda.
“This funding will enable us to expand our footprint in Kenya and Uganda. Our goal is to create a comprehensive continent-wide network of interconnected transport that make travelling hassle-free for all,” said Sonia Kabra, cofounder and co-chief executive officer (CEO) at BuuPass.
Founded in 2016 by Kabra and Wyclife Omondi, BuuPass provides fleet owners with a full-stack bus management system for managing their operations, inventory, and sales. The platform also includes a point-of-sale solution to capture bookings and provides access to a parcel management module. It claims to help customers to search, compare and book their tickets across different channels.
BuuPass further claims to have over 1,200 vehicles registered on its platform from over 25 bus companies. It is the sole technology provider for online railway ticket booking in Kenya and generated a GMV (gross merchandise value) of $30 million in 2022. It claims to be currently processing around 12,000 transactions daily.
“Our bus operators have seen a significant decrease in cash leakages and increased revenue from online bookings. 80% of our clients come through referrals, demonstrating that our focus on customer satisfaction is yielding fruit. We can customize the technology for most businesses, and give on-demand support,” said Omondi co-CEO, BuuPass.
Artha India Ventures’ director Anirudh A Damani said that the African continent is fast emerging as a startup innovation hotbed and that the ecosystem is churning out many disruptive, unique investment opportunities.
Established in 2012, the investment arm has a diverse portfolio which includes renewables, leasing, and institutional funds. It manages over Rs 800+ crores in third-party capital and has invested in over 80 startups across India, the USA, Israel, and Africa, including companies such as OYO, Purplle, LeverageEdu, Tala, IconBuild, Rapido, Coutloot, Chai Break, Karza Technologies, Stay Vista, Mobilewalla, and Exotel.