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Kenyan startup, Data Integrated has received an undisclosed amount of funding from venture capital firms, Toyota Tsush, and CFAO. The funding received will be used to promote the startup’s efforts in the digitization of public transport in Africa.
Data Integrated receives funding for bus management and digital ticketing systems
In a press statement, Toyota Tsusho comments on expanding its business perspective to advance the mobility sector in Africa.
“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 hardware and software point of view.”
Toyota Tsusho is a multi-business enterprise founded in 1999 as a trading and supply-chain specialist. Toyota Tshusho grabbed the opportunity to invest in the Kenyan transport mobility space with the aim to contribute to hygienic public bus services.
Digitizing public transport
Data Integrated aims to improve the efficiency of public transport in Kenya through its digital platform offering and integrated technology. The startup provides bus operators, under matatu cooperatives, with access to bus management and a digital ticketing platform
According to reports by Toyota Tsush, 50% of commuters in Kenya solely rely on ‘Matatu’, a traditional public transport method that utilises privately-owned mini-buses.
Each bus owner operates as a business as they belong to a cooperative and hires their own driver and conductor. This operation system is at fault as users are not provided with accurate information as to bus arrival and departure times. The traditional method lacks an integration of technology to provide accurate information to potential passengers.
Data Integrated has created a solution to this with the development of mEpesi, an app that allows users to access and view reliable public transport schedules in real-time.
In addition, it has created a number of other services including; Mobitill Epesi, a smart public transport solution to address operational challenges, Mapato, a payroll solution for local SMEs, and more.
The traditional method adopted to utilise a Matatu for passengers is to pay the bus driver in cash for the trip.
In an effort to improve the current system, mEpesi has implemented a digital ticketing system that eliminates the transfer of cash on buses. In turn, this ensures the safety of passengers from theft and increases seamless customer service.
In addition, the Kenya Transport Authority will introduce the cashless payment method to the public transport sector in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Featured image: Data Integrated, Facebook