Nairobi-based bus ticket aggregator, BookNow has closed the round from 10 angels. Angels include local businessmen Mahendra K.D. Shah, Ravi Shah, Ritesh Doshi and four of 88mph’s investors and team who went in personally as well.
The company will use the funds worth $75,000 to accelerate growth within the Kenyan market by improving its product offering and hiring customer support staff.
Founded by Michael Nguru and Francis Gesora in August 2013, the platform enables travellers across East Africa to view listed bus schedules of different companies, compare fares, view seat availability and book tickets via mobile phone and PC.
The company was part of 88mph’s 2013 Nairobi accelerator program where the team received mentoring, access to networks, technical infrastructure and work space, in exchange for an equity stake. The programme helped expand creative problem solving capacities to find innovative tech solutions to real life problems and inconveniences in East Africa.
According to Francis Gesora, This service intends to, and already is, bringing advantages in speed, information, cost and time savings to bus travellers and the industry. “We have been able to pull together an investor pool that brings strategic advantages to BookNow’s operations through their skills and expertise, which we are able to draw upon as we grow and expand.”
The bus industry in East Africa, currently at a market value of $150M, is rapidly growing. BookNow is the first startup to bring web and mobile technologies to the industry, challenging the manual, painstaking process of booking bus tickets, and transforming it into a simple mobile tool where bus tickets can be acquired in exchange for mobile money at the click of a button.
BookNow is looking to establish growth across the region now having a good number of investors offering strategic advantages to the company’s operations.