At a time when the transport scene in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos, is getting a lot of attention from local tech firms, it does look like things are starting to get even better.
With platforms such as GoKada, MAX, and ORide trying to outdo one another in the bike-hailing market, Okada is getting a new look in various parts of Nigeria, more so in Lagos.
And it was always a matter of time before the “wind of change” blew towards the world of commercial buses, popularly called Molue in Lagos. These yellow-painted public buses, which come in different sizes and various degrees of ricketiness, are something of a hallmark in Lagos.
Those buses are everywhere in Lagos and are notorious for services that care very little for the comfort and/or safety of passengers. Almost every Lagosian has at least one tale of horror about the infamous Molue.
That transport segment has, thus, been ripe for disruption for quite some time, and as would be expected, players are starting to emerge. The looming opportunity is attracting transportation startups that are aware of the value that could be attracted by meeting the need for cheap and comfortable bus options in the bustling city.
First, it was an Egyptian bus-hailing startup, Swvl, talking about expanding into Nigeria after launching operations in Kenya early this year. But even as that move hasn’t quite materialised, local bus-hailing platforms have emerged in the form of Zeno and more recently, OBus.
But there are some new guys on the block and what they are serving up is a prospect unlike any other — a bus-hailing service that you don’t just get to use but also sort of own.
The name of this new platform is Plentywaka and it’s a bus-hailing service from CrowdyVest Holdings (CVHoldings); the parent company to the 25,000 farmers-strong digital agriculture company, Farmcrowdy, as well as the newly-launched Crowdyvest.
“We decided to invest in a bus-hailing solution as our current public transportation has proven to be stressful, unreliable, time-wasting and without structure. Plentywaka was established to provide commuters convenience, safety and comfort in their daily rides,” Omotoke Ogunfuye, PRO Farmcrowdy, disclosed to WeeTracker via e-mail.
Plentywaka offers business-style convenience for the everyday commuter who wants to enjoy style, safety, and comfort during the daily commute.
Anyone can use PlentyWaka by downloading the app from the Google Play Store or iOS App Store and sign up to be a user. For now, the only route available is the pilot route which is the Ajah-CMS-Ajah route. And as a perk, the first set of users get NGN 1.5 K in their wallets to use along the route.
Unlike any other bus-hailing platform, you don’t only get to use Plentywaka — you could also “own” part of it. And one gets to do this by sponsoring the platform via Crowdyvest.
For starters, those three investment arms are all under CrowdyVest Holdings (CVHoldings). Omotoke told WeeTracker that CVHoldings is the holding company that coordinates activities and provides support to all its portfolio companies including Crowdyvest, Farmcrowdy, and Plentywaka.
According to her, CVHoldings has a mission to improve lives by focusing on key sectors that aid the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across Africa.
While Farmcrowdy is Nigeria’s first digital Agriculture Platform focused on empowering smallholder farmers and improving food sustainability, Crowdyvest is an impact-driven platform focused on connecting its members to multiple sponsorship opportunities that are safe, secure and trusted.
To take part in Crowdyvest, all a user needs to do is visit www.crowdyvest.com, sign up on the platform and sponsor available impact projects of choice.
Crowdyvest is focused on helping individuals sponsor social impact projects for projected returns after a fixed cycle. These sponsorships generated from sponsors are used to execute projects run by its sister companies; Farmcrowdy and Plentywaka, which are run by separate management teams.
In other words, Crowdyvest is the medium through which one can support projects undertaken by CVHoldings, which includes agricultural projects on Farmcrowdy and now, Plentywaka.
Crowdyvest was unveiled early last month by Onyeka Akumah, Farmcrowdy’s Founder and CEO who talked up Crowdyvest as an ideal investment platform that differs from others in that it shares sponsorship risk with sponsors.
Omotoke told WeeTracker that, currently, only Plentywaka sponsorship options are available on Crowdyvest. However, new sponsorship options for Farmcrowdy, the agricultural sponsorship platform, will be opening by the end of September 2019.
Additionally, going forward, other sponsorship options may be introduced as Crowdyvest has its eyes on solving a number of problems bedeviling today’s society.
“Crowdyvest was set up to provide solutions to the biggest problems faced by Africans,” revealed the Farmcrowdy PRO.
“In this light, we picked the 17 United Nations Social Development Goals to provide solutions to Agriculture and now transportation. In the future, we would look at other problems to deal with using our crowdfunding model on Crowdyvest.”
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