Low budget smart-ticketing systems provider BuuPass eyes African expansion
Following success in Kenya and Uganda and after securing additional capital, Kenya-based smart-ticketing systems provider BuuPass, is seeking to spread its footprint`across the region and beyond. The ticketing fintech last month raised an additional USD 1.3 million, in pre-seed funding from Founders Factory Africa, FrontEnd Ventures, and Google Black Founders Fund, taking its total funding to USD2.5 million.
With an ever-growing population and an ever-evolving transportation network, African megalopolis are waking to the need for efficient ticketing systems to facilitate their day-to-day commute, guarantee safety, are accessible, and affordable for businesses and individual users.
Road transportation remains the most common means of transportation for goods and people across the African continent, making it a key driver of economic growth and intra-African trade. A number of barriers however, limit road transport from reaching its full potential. First, good road infrastructure needs to be developed at a pace that matches Africa’s rapidly expanding population. Second, for players like BuuPass aiming to defy the odds by leveraging technology, slow adoption due to low disposable income across major cities inhibits mass scale, slackens the progress of road ticketing and leaves passengers, who often have to queue for hours to get rides, more frustrated.
Over the years, the global smart ticketing market size has witnessed astronomical growth. In 2020, Fortune Business Insights estimated the market to be USD 7.27 billion. FBI further anticipates the market to reach USD 21.33 billion by 2028 at a CAGR of 14.5pc between 2021 and 2028. This marks a considerable increase from the USD8.29 billion that was projected for 2021.
BuuPass is one of the major players rapidly innovating road transportation in Africa by creating the sweet-spot between affordability and technology. Seeing the outlook and use cases of smart ticketing systems globally and how promising they could be for logistics within Africa, the BuuPass team has created a system that balances affordability and efficiency. Through its online platform, users get to pre-book rides, purchase tickets, and access real-time information to plan their movements, thereby circumventing long queues at ticket counters.
First launched in Kenya, BuuPass is run by a team of experts led by Sonia Kabra and Wycliffe Omondi, working towards actualising the value proposition of hassle-free travel experiences in Africa. BuuPass is designed to eliminate frustrating booking processes and hitch-ridden journeys.
“We make journeys seamless by making travelling by road in Africa faster, easier and more affordable. Since our inception in 2016, we`ve garnered over 2.5 million customers, using its 1250+ buses. Across Kenya and Uganda where we currently operate, BuuPass has covered 800+ routes, sold more than 9 million tickets and presently processes about 12,000 transactions per day. Our impact and solutions have been recognised by the African Union, World Bank, USAID, and other organisations,” says Sonia Kabra.
Besides passengers, BuuPass also caters to operators within the value chain through its Bus Management System (BMS). BMS offers a comprehensive solution that optimises operations, inventory and sales for operators running fleets across several cities. Operators are also connected to a marketplace, where passengers can easily find, access and reserve their tickets through multiple channels, including websites, apps and USSD codes. Besides these, the BMS provides a Point-of-Sale solution to record transactions and access parcel management modules.
“The challenge of road ticketing in Africa goes beyond just access. Fraud is a major concern, with ticket scalpers and other nefarious actors taking advantage of the lack of secure ticketing systems, often to the detriment of travellers. We implement advanced security measures such as biometric identification, facial recognition, and a secure payment system to combat this problem. This has helped to reduce fraud and make the road ticketing process more secure and reliable for our users,” Wyclife Omondi emphasises.
Enhancing Economic prosperity & Quality of life
Broadly, road ticketing systems help to manage traffic flow on the roads, reduce congestion, and ease movement. But beyond these is a layer of economic advancements it facilitates through data.
BuuPass culls analytics generated on past ticketing activities to study the performance of its road ticketing platform, eliminate redundant processes, upgrade existing or introduce new features, identify areas of improvement and overall measure the success of its current systems.
The team believes that a well-implemented road ticketing system reduces congestion on the roads, saves energy consumption thereby lowering transport costs, promotes healthy rivalry among businesses that rely on cost-effective transportation and consequently improves citizens` quality of life.
“By providing low-budget yet efficient solutions, BuuPass is leading the way in making travelling by road in Africa worthy of emulation. Through its commitment to innovative technology and customer support, BuuPass is determined to revolutionise the industry and make travelling by road in Africa smoother and easier than ever before,”adds Sonia Kabra.