DAMILOLA OLOKESUSI, H’18
Transforming the daily commute in Nigeria
Lagos is a city of 23 million people and 90% of its transport system is road-based, with semi-formal mini buses or ‘danfos’ making up 45% of all transport. In 2015, the city accounted for 30% of the total number of road vehicles in Nigeria, with a vehicular density of 234 cars per kilometer. Although Lagos has several federal roads, its transport system is inefficient due to the poor nature of many of the roads and the lack of a formal or public transport system. Professionals typically commute to work using a personal car, public bus, Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT) or cabs and have to contend with hectic traffic congestion, hustling to get onto a bus, standing in the BRT, or paying for a private cab – and they do this five days a week. The negative impact of this inefficiency affects commuters’ quality of life, mental health, finances and productivity. It also impacts the more vulnerable and neglected populations – women, children, physically challenged and the elderly. Olokesusi was confident that a smart mobility solution could solve some of these urban mobility challenges sustainably, create jobs and reduce carbon emissions.
When they launched in 2016, their model was messenger-based, using Slack, email, and WhatsApp to communicate routes and timelines to customers. One of their very first clients was Andela, who took advantage of the start-up’s B2B2C option to ferry workers across the state. In 2019, Shuttlers introduced their mobile app where customers could subscribe to a plan, which included a B2B where business companies paid the fares for their employees and B2C where individual customers paid their own fare.
"Passionate about transforming the transport sector and contributing to Nigeria’s social and economic growth."
Transforming the daily commute in Nigeria
Shuttlers was the first shared mobility company that allowed individual and corporate passengers to take rides on multiple bus routes via an app. It offers an economical way for commuting professionals in the Lagos metropole, reducing daily commuting stress by allowing people to share rides in corporate buses. Since transportation isn’t a common employee perk in Nigeria, Shuttlers provides partner companies in Lagos and Abuja with a bus-sharing platform with mobility options for their employees. Employees can book seats on one of the buses along predetermined and scheduled routes. App features include live bus tracking, optimal routing based on traffic, digital payments and ride schedules. It also offers three payment plans: Companies pay full fare for employees, companies split fares with employees, while individual customers pay fares themselves.
The start-up raised $4 million in a new funding round led by Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures, a Pan-African focused venture capital firm. The round also welcomed participation from follow-on investors, including VestedWorld, which led the mobility startup’s $1.6 million round. ShEquity, CMC 21 & Alsa and EchoVC are the startup’s other backers in this round, which has seen the mobility company secure over $5.6 million in total venture backing. Nearly 260 buses go through 300 routes across Lagos and Abuja daily, for their clientele of 80+ companies. The company sells over 9,000 tickets daily to individual and corporate passengers with 3 million B2B trips and over 2 million B2C trips, serving more than 80,000 commuters. The company plans to go live in five other cities across Nigeria by 2024.
LEARN MORE ABOUT SHUTTLERS
Shuttlers is a platform that enables professionals access efficient shared-transportation in Lagos Metropolis.
Passionate about transforming the transport sector and contributing to Nigeria’s social and economic growth.
ABOUT DAMILOLA OLOKESUSI
Damilola Olokesusi, H’18 is a Chemical Engineering graduate from the University of Lagos, Nigeria and the co-founder and CEO of Shuttlers. In June 2016, Shuttlers was one of ten start-ups from across Nigeria selected to participate in the She Leads Africa Accelerator Program. In September 2016, Shuttlers was one of 3 finalists in the ASO Villa Demo Day and winner of the transport category. In September 2017, it was one of 15 companies selected to attend the Women Leaders in Africa summit in Morocco where she won a recognition award for work in the transportation and technology sector in Africa.
I AM A HARAMBEAN
Olokesusi is proud to be part of a family of young minds who are on a common mission, entrepreneurs who do not conform to the norm or are satisfied with the status quo but who derive satisfaction from impacting lives and solving social and economic problems that seem almost unsolvable.
“I want to be a serial entrepreneur, building companies in sectors that will help to develop Africa.”