Kenyan based startup, Data Integrated has bagged an undisclosed amount of funding from two venture capital firms, Toyota Tsusho and CFAO, to further push its plans of digitising the country’s public transport system.
As a trading and supply-chain specialist, Toyota Tsusho on its part has invested meaningfully in Kenya’s transport mobility domain in a bid to help build a more conducive public bus service system.
Explaining the rationale behind their drive to develop Africa’s mobility sector in a press release, Toyota Tsusho reiterated thus below:
“Toyota Tsusho has been engaged in mobility businesses in Africa mainly from a hardware perspective, such as vehicle and after service supply.
The investment into Data Integrated today is strategically positioned to accelerate the MaaS/CASE businesses from a software perspective.
We are fully committed to solving social challenges in the mobility sector in Africa by bringing complementary knowledge from both the hardware and software point of view.”
Digitising public transportation
Through its digital platform and integrated technology, Data Integrated sets out to improve the quality of Kenya’s public transport sector.
It gives bus operators under Matatu Transportation System access not only to bus management but to a digital ticketing platform as well.
Matatu is a traditional public transport service which makes use of privately owned mini buses in Kenya, and reports from Toyota Tsusho show that 50% of commuters in Kenya depend on it, and within this arrangement, every bus owner runs their business and can employ their own drivers and conductor since they belong to a cooperative.
The system has been in operation for a quite while now and still isn’t rid of shortcomings. Users are not given accurate bus arrival and departure schedules, and it lacks an integration of technology to convey accurate information to prospective passengers.
To solve these challenges, Data Integrated has proffered a solution through the development of mEpesi, an app that allows users to access and view reliable public transport schedules in record time.
Another progress made by the startup is its creation of other services such as Mobitill Epesi, a smart public transport solution to address operational challenges as well as Mapato, a payroll solution for local SMEs, to name but a few.
New cashless payments
Passengers using the Matatu services usually pay their fares directly to their bus drivers, but in an effort to improve the efficiency of the current system and ensure the safety of money-carrying passengers, mEpesi has implemented a digital ticketing system that eliminates the physical exchange of cash on buses.
Following this innovative development, the Kenya Transport Authority will also introduce the cashless payment method to the public transport sector to prevent the continuous spread of Covid-19.
Featured Image: weetracker
Don’t miss important articles during the week. Subscribe to techbuild weekly digest for updates.