South-African based tech start-up WhereIsMyTransport has announced an investment of £1.2 million (R19.8 million) from Goodwell Investments and Bombardier.
The Cape Town and London-based public transport data and technology start-up said in a statement on Tuesday the investment has been secured as the company completes the digital mapping of informally run public transport in South Africa’s major metropolitan areas.
WhereIsMyTransport offers integrated data solutions for formal and informally run transport in cities across South Africa.
Inspired by their own frustration with public transport, co-founders Devin de Vries, Chris King, and Dave New set out to make information available to commuters in Cape Town. They have built both an open data platform for emerging cities and a team dedicated to changing the transport ecosystem around the world.
The firm through data collection and data connection, helps cities understand their transport, so everyone can get where they want to go.
All data is available on the WhereIsMyTransport platform – an open API for emerging cities.
In recognition of these achievements, WhereIsMyTransport has received the International Transport Forum “Promising Transport Innovation Award” and a place in the prestigious NewCities “Global Urban Innovators” initiative.
“Digitalised information enables individuals and organisations to improve access to mobility for millions of people. Completing the mapping of informally run networks in South Africa’s major metropolitan areas is a milestone for WhereIsMyTransport. We invite partners to join us in utilising this data and initiating projects in other cities,” says de Vries.
Data from the Gauteng city region launches on the WhereIsMyTransport platform in August, joining Cape Town, East London, Durban, Port Elizabeth, and Bloemfontein.
Seed Investment of £1.2m
Returning investor Goodwell Investments is joined by Bombardier and lead investor Global Innovation Fund.
The Global Innovation Fund was founded in September 2014 with a $200 million commitment over five years from the British, American, Swedish and Australian governments, as well as the Omidyar Network, with the goal of creating an entity separate from government bureaucracy that could look at what different financing models can do for development.
“Poor mass transit disproportionally affects those living in the developing world, who either spend a greater portion of their income on motorised transport, or cannot afford to use it at all,” Alix Zwane, CEO of GIF, says.
“GIF is proud to support WhereIsMyTransport, whose open data platform allows for more efficient planning and regulation of mass transit systems by local governments, and makes transport more accessible, efficient, and safe for the poor.”
In July 2015, WhereIsMyTransport raised £600 000 (R12 million) from local and international investors.
Tom Boardman, ex-CEO of Nedbank and chairman of Athena Capital, as well as Kim Fennell, CEO of deCarta, an Uber tech company, have both made personal investments. Other investors include South Africa’s Infotech, and global investors consists of a Dutch-based venture fund Horizen Ventures and Goodwell Investments