Naspers invests R42 million to improve public transport access

Naspers invests R42 million to improve public transport access

Naspers has invested R42 million in WhereIsMyTransport through its early-stage tech investment vehicle. WhereIsMyTransport – which was founded in Cape Town – is a mobility technology company that maps formal and informal public transport networks and uses this data and technology to improve the public transport experience, making the public commute more reliable, predictable, safe, inclusive and accessible for millions of people in highly populated megacities.

It licenses these mobility datasets to governments, development finance institutions, NGOs, operators and third-party solution developers for the purpose of research, analytics, insights and consumer and enterprise solutions.

It aims to develop solutions that provide commuters in Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia and Latin America with real-time public transport network alerts, to improve their mobility and reduce the time they spend commuting.

According to Devin de Vries, WhereIsMyTransport CEO and co-founder (pictured), while WhereIsMyTransport started in South Africa, it is focused on becoming a central source of accurate and reliable public transport data for high-growth markets. “We’re thrilled to welcome Naspers as an investor as our journey continues in megacities across the Majority World,” he notes.

In South Africa, WhereIsMyTransport’s clients include, among others, Johannesburg commuter rail system Gautrain and Transport for Cape Town, and as part of its international client base, Google, the World Bank and WSP among others.

Mobility remains an obstacle for millions of people in high-growth markets across the world, says Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, South African CEO of Naspers

“Our investment in WhereIsMyTransport is testimony to our belief that great innovation and tech talent is found in South Africa, and with the right backing and support these businesses can provide solutions to local challenges that can improve the lives of ordinary people in South Africa and abroad,” she says.

Fabian Whate, head of Naspers Foundry, notes that WhereIsMyTransport has a strong track record of developing the best-in-class technology in improving the daily commutes of people across the world. “The mobility technology company is a great addition to the Naspers Foundry investment portfolio, and we look forward to working with the WhereIsMyTransport team as they take their business to the next level,” he says.

The mobility technology company has reached an important milestone by launching its first consumer product, Rumbo, in Latin America. Rumbo is the first to provide network information from all modes of public transport in this market and has over 100 000 users and delivered over 750 000 real-time network alerts since its launch in Mexico City in November 2020. The app will be launched in Lima, Peru later this year.

Through Prosus Ventures, Naspers invested in European micro-mobility company Dott in 2018, with a follow-on investment this year and in on-demand transport and logistics company Bykea in 2020.

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Focus on Transport

FOCUS on Transport and Logistics is one of the oldest and most respected transport and logistics publications in southern Africa.
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