How A Team Of Ghanaians & A Nigerian Raised Funding From A Nigerian VC For The First Ride-Hailing Company In Faraway Mauritius
Back in 2016, Ghanaian Isaac Agyemang and Nigerian Ukeme Jonah, who had both schooled in Mauritius and pretty much made a second home out of that place, were trying to put together a TEDx event in the small, island nation.
But what was already a daunting task from the get-go was made several times harder by the fact that moving around was quite hard.
Organising an event of the order of magnitude of a TEDx event typically comes with a lot of getting around, and Agyemang and Ukeme found that this wasn’t easy in Mauritius.
“The platform was born out of the inconvenience the founders encountered not being able to book taxis ‘on-demand’ and paying
two-way fares for one-way trips, while co-organizing a TEDx event
in 2016 in Mauritius,” Anthony Takyi, one of the members of the founding team, told WeeTracker.
Moving around on the beautiful island of Mauritius could be quite the task. As CNN Travel’s Tony Smart puts it, “To get around Mauritius, you can use taxis (find a good one on your day and stick with him), hire a car or use one of the many tour companies in Mauritius like White Sands Tours or Mauritours.”
Every year, over 1.5 million tourists and business travelers visit Mauritius, even eclipsing the country’s total population of 1.3 million. But it’s quite odd that there is no pocket-friendly option for ease of movement.
Agyemang and Ukeme spotted this transport gap in Mauritius during their TEDx event struggles of 2016 and they were spurred into action. That same year, they linked up with Anthony Takyi (who joined in July last year) and Tilal Hussain to launch the first ride-hailing platform in Mauritius.
Vite, as it is called, is the first app-based multimodal mobility startup in what is one of the best tourist destinations in Africa. The startup gets its name, Vite, from the original French word for “quick” or “fast”.
Isaac Agyemang is the startup’s COO. Ukeme Jonah functions as CEO Anthony Takyi is CMO and Tilal Hussain is Tech Lead.
Despite still being in beta-testing, Vite which has seen more than 6500 app downloads and 500 completed trips, recently closed an undisclosed pre-seed round from Nigeria-based VC firm, Oui Capital.
Before now, the startup had been run by a combination of bootstrapping and a small amount landed from an angel investor during the MVP stage.
On how the faraway startup managed to woo investors in Nigeria, Takyi puts it down to lots of effort and proven traction.
“As any serious startup that needs a runway and believes in the team and product/service, the prudent thing to do is to scout for investors. So we scouted investors that support our kind of vertical/tech. Oui Capital was perfect.”
According to Takyi who responded to queries from WeeTracker in an emailed response, the funding raised will be used for tech improvements, some lean media engagements, as well as operations like driver training and core administrative duties.