Most investors shy off from investing into the mobility space because they believe it’s not profitable or per herpes there are no ‘good’ avenues of generating money. You will be shocked to read this, Kenya’s Mass transport sector is worth Ksh 200 Billion (US$2B)!
That sounds ideal for investment right? Each and every day we wake up to news that so and so has launched an app, but how many innovators are getting into the mobility space? At least for now we have a number of them. A perfect example is the 8 mobility startups who just graduated from the TUMI Startup Accelerator.
There are currently 30,000 Matatus (mini-buses) that get into Nairobi CBD with an average capacity of 25 passengers and spend about one and a half hours in traffic to ferry 750,000 Nairobians in and out of CBD during rush hour. The matatus therefore ferry 1.5 million Kenyans every three hours during morning and evening rush hours. The rest of the human traffic are ferried in and out of Nairobi during off-peak hours. These numbers show that there is indeed a customer base for alternative means of transportation for commuters.
Late last year, Reuters reported that Uber was set to roll out a new service in Kenya to help users book seats on mini-buses that ply the streets of the congested capital, if tests on the product in Egypt and Mexico prove successful. Ever since the report, other players have taken an interest in the market. Little, Uber’s competitor in the ride sharing app market in Kenya, just ventured into the mass transport apps market.
Safiri express one of the recent graduates from the TUMI Startup Accelerator did an active pilot last year for three months, starting from the month of January, whereby they managed to engage 35,000 people in Nairobi. This was done to test the market to see if people were ready for a product that looks at mobility differently. Safiri express is set to offer point to point connections to commuters.
This kind of movement will definitely see the mobility space become an ideal space for investment. Give it 2 years and these mobility innovative solutions will be on their feet ready to face off with FinTech startups for investor monies!