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Kenya’s BuuPass Acquires Nigeria’s QuickBus, to Become Africa’s Largest Intercity Transport Booking Platform

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BuuPass, Kenya’s bus booking platform has acquired Nigeria’s QuickBus, a bus ticketing service industry in Nigeria and South Africa in an expansion move.

The acquisition brings BuuPass’s active user accounts to 650,000 monthly users, solidifying BuuPass’s position as the largest intercity transport booking platform in Africa.The B2B2C mobility marketplace enables users to search, compare, and book their tickets across different channels, including websites, apps, and USSD.

In a statement, BuuPass Co-Founder Sonia Kabra said, “We are excited to expand our footprint in Africa as we actively look for more opportunities to bring our platform to new African markets. BuuPass aims to create a comprehensive, continent-wide network of interconnected transport options for seamless global and continental travel, and this acquisition is a significant milestone toward that goal.”

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Founded in 2016, BuuPass has sold over 6 million travel tickets and generated over $100 million in GMV. Its platform covers national and cross-border routes in East and Southern Africa and has served over 16 million passengers.

The strategic expansion into South Africa and Nigeria is set to add over 5,000 new routes to BuuPass’s platform, significantly enriching the network and service offerings for African consumers. BuuPass will also onboard over 100 bus operators and several high-profile online distribution partnerships, including FNB, Voda, and MTN. The BuuPass platform enables transport operators to digitize their operations, minimize cash leakages, access data-driven business analytics, and convert more sales from online bookings.

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Quickbus operates on 5,200 intercity routes. Starting today, BuuPass users can access international routes across 16 African countries, including Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Malawi, Nigeria, and Ghana. Major routes, such as Johannesburg to Cape Town and Durban to Capetown, can be found on the platform today, with more to be added by the end of Q2.

BuuPass is planning continued innovation on its platform, including new features such as multi-modal travel options that integrate bus, train, and flight bookings into one platform. Additionally, BuuPass is rolling out enhanced travel analytics for personalized journey planning and a loyalty program that rewards frequent travelers with discounts and special offers.

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In February 2023, BuuPass secured $1.3 million for its expansion and growth across East Africa, with a focus on Kenya and Uganda. With the cash, the firm hired a team to build systems for scale to help become a pan-African infrastructure for long distance transportation. A year later, the firm received an investment from Tim Draper, of Draper Associates, DFJ and the Draper Venture Network, with previous investments in firms such as Coinbase, Baidu, Tesla, Skype, SpaceX, Twitch, and Hotmail.

“BuuPass has shown incredible promise in transforming the transportation industry in Africa. I am excited to be part of this journey and look forward to seeing BuuPass drive innovation and connectivity across the continent.” said Draper at the time of the raise.

Earlier, the firm had partnered with Kenya’s largest telco Safaricom to allow travelers in the country book and purchase bus tickets online or via their feature phones. The service was launched with five bus operators including Easy Coach, Modern Coast, Greenline, Palmers and East African Shuttles, and was to onboard more than 20 additional operators. Customers can access the service by dialing *877# and at buupass.com with payments accepted through M-PESA.

Other partners include MTN, Vodacom and FNB.

Co-founder Wyclife Omondi added, “We are thrilled to integrate QuickBus’s routes in Nigeria and South Africa and onboard major partners such as MTN, Voda, and FNB. These partnerships will help us reach new customers and enhance connectivity and convenience for millions.”

“As an early investor and backer, Founders Factory Africa is proud to see BuuPass expand to Nigeria and South Africa. BuuPass is already changing the daily lives of its customers as it moves closer to fulfilling its vision of being a pan-African travel booking platform. We look forward to supporting BuuPass in achieving future milestones,” says Eunice Wambui, Investment Principal at Founders Factory Africa.

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James Musoba
James Musoba
Studying Africa's startup and technology scene. I always look forward to discovering new exciting inventions and vibrant entrepreneurs.

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