Investments

Mapping Startup WhereIsMyTransport Raises $7.5M From Google, Toyota

emerging country transport

WhereIsMyTransport, a mapping startup that works to outline public transport routes in emerging markets, has raised $7.5 million in a Series A funding, according to a report by TechCrunch.

The startup has mapped 34 cities in Africa and its working in Latin America, Southeast Asia and India. The company uses proprietary algorithms in its mobility API that has the capability to aid in the mapping of complex transit routes.

Liil Ventures led the round, and previous investors Global Innovation Fund and Goodwell Investments also participated. Google, Nedbank and Toyota Tsusho Corporation (TTC) also took part.

Right now, WhereIsMyTransport has mapped 750,000 km of routes in 39 cities and it will use the new funding to further expand.

“We make the invisible visible, by collecting all kinds of data related to public transport and turning the data into information that can be shared with the people who need it most,” CEO Devin de Vries said. “In emerging markets, the mobility ecosystem is complex; informal public transport doesn’t behave like formal public transport. Data and technology solutions that work well in London or San Francisco wouldn’t make anything like the same impact, if any at all, in the cities where we work. Our solutions are designed specifically to overcome these contextual challenges.”

Analysts estimate that about 80 percent of the population in an emerging country has to rely on public transportation, but often buses and cars are privately run. Apps that work in cities like New York are not going to work in places like Lagos, Nigeria.

Masato Yamanami, CEO of Toyota Tsusho Corporation’s automotive division, said, “our division’s global network, that covers 146 countries, is primarily focused on new emerging countries where people rely on informal public transport. Through strategic collaboration with WhereIsMyTransport, we will establish better and more efficient mobility services that help to resolve social challenges and contribute to the overall economic development of nations, primarily emerging nations.”

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