African service travel company GONA has announced that it has raised “millions of dollars” in a Pre-Series A round from Qingliu Capital, Jiuhe Venture Capital, and Shaka Ventures. While it’s unclear which VC led the round, the financing will be used to build the Lagos-based company’s team and upgrade its product technologies.
GONA is headquartered in China and was founded by Liu Xiaojun, who is also currently the CEO of the company. Nevertheless, the firm has a primary focus on Lagos, one of Africa’s busiest cities.
GONA has created a platform to encourage cashless payments for passengers boarding informal transit public buses in Lagos State. The firm claims to have thousands of users and almost 10,000 transactions daily on its mobile app.
While chomping at different bits to tackle the issues facing the local travel market, the company has fully localized in Lagos. Its mandate is to eliminate the inconveniences in the city’s already crowded mobility scene, using technology to improve all-round operational efficiency.
The best-known of GONA’s projects in Lagos is it’s roll-out on the route between Yaba to the University of Lagos (UNILAG) campus, making mobility payments easy for students and other academia.
According to m.163.com, the new investment will allow the firm to hire more local talent to push its product further. Granted that the service is not so popular, this fresh capital reception is hoped to fully introduce GONA to the public.
The funding comes when the transport scene in Lagos is at an all-time busy, with many players vying to digitize the city’s mobility opportunities.
According to GONA co-founder Noah Gu, the business will do its best to onboard the best people in order to help most Lagosians enjoy a better daily commuting experience.
Shaka VC partner, Larry, Liu says that the minibus scene provides a more efficient and convenient travel service for hundreds of millions of Africans. “The market is huge. As the first Chinese fund to focus on early African investment in Africa, ShakaVC will support the development of GONA in local resources, experience, and capital”.
In February, Shaka VC invested an undisclosed amount in Ugandan logistics company Pinktie. While that was its sixth deal, the firm said it wanted to achieve a fund closing this year at USD 100 Mn. The VC has also funded four Nigeria firms, including K-Pay, a second-hand medical equipment company.
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