SA startup Lula launches R2.5m Uprise.Africa crowdfunding campaign


SA mobility startup Lüla announced today that it will seek to raise R2.5-million in return for giving up an 8.5% equity stake, through local equity crowdfunding platform Uprise.Africa.

The campaign will run for 90 days and already 10 investors — who were alerted ahead of time of the campaign of the equity crowdfunding’s database of interested investors — have contributed R81 000.

This is Uprise.Africa’s third campaign. While a campaign run last year to raise R3-million to fund the publication of more African literature flopped after the campaign failed to meet its fund-raising target (see this story) — another to fund Drifter Brewery, raised almost R3.9-million from 196 investors at the campaign’s close in August last year (see this story).

SA mobility startup Lüla aims to raise R2.5-million from investors on equity crowdfunding platform Uprise.Africa

The startup’s app (its name means “easy” in isiZulu) connects corporate commuters to private shuttles.

In a statement today, Lüla co-founder and CEO Velani Mboweni (pictured above) called the campaign a “great opportunity” for the Cape Town based startup to grow and to extend its service to the rest of South Africa.

Mboweni is the nephew of Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, according to a podcast in October last year in the Africa Tech Roundup.

According to the City of Cape Town’s Transport and Urban Development Authority, Cape Town is the most congested city in South Africa with 80% of peak traffic times clogged by private cars. Car pooling or sharing transport is one of recommendations that the city authority advocates.

Lüla targets corporate commuters with over 50 employees across Cape Town. It crowdsources private shuttles that can offer schedule door-to-door rides which picks up commuters from their home to work and back.

“With a bigger fleet of shuttles, Lüla can alleviate congestion and save up to 20% of the fuel costs of travelling to work. We are able to save our passengers up to 80% of auto-related expenses and free up 100% of the time spent driving”, affirms Mboweni.

In the past three months, Lüla claims it has transported 150 passengers from corporate clients who include the likes Aurecon, PwC, SweepSouth and Old Mutual. Lüla is a new and easier way to get around Cape Town.

Since it’s inception in 2016, the startup has raised over R3.7-million from local and international investors, securing nine local corporate companies as clients. Lüla was also part of last year’s SBC AfriTech’s Startupbootcamp cohort which was run in Cap Town (see this story).

Lüla was also part of last year’s SBC AfriTech’s Startupbootcamp cohort which was run in Cape Town (see this story).

Through their equity crowdfunding campaign on Uprise.Africa, the startup is looking to attract everyday investors to invest in the company.

Lüla says it intends to use the investment of R2.5-million to expand into different regions through hiring new team members, acquire more partner drivers, scale up operations and further develop their technology.

See the campaign page here.

Read more: SA financial sector authority drafts another paper on equity crowdfunding
Read more: Uprise.Africa mulling 159 deals worth almost R1-billion’ [Updated]
Read more: Uprise.Africa appoints former GEPF man to chair crowdfunding platform board
Read more: Uprise.Africa crowdfunding platform nets investment from Silicon Valley VC
Read more: Uprise.Africa mulls 80 projects for equity crowdfunding, as Drifter raise hits R3m [Updated]
Read more: Uprise.Africa opens Storied to investors in possible first for crowdfunding in SA

*Correction in the initial version of this story we referred to Tito Mboweni as the former finance minister. He is very much the current minister of finance, at least at the time this article was published.

Featured image: Lula CEO and co-founder Velani Mboweni (Supplied)



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