Transport | South Africa | Test and Transition
The development problem: Poor mass transit is a significant problem that disproportionately affects those living on <$5 PPP/day, with approximately 70% of trips in South Africa made via informal transport. The poor spend a larger portion of their income on transport or they cannot afford motorized transport at all. In addition to time savings, there are also associated safety benefits from reducing unpredictable wait times at mass transit stops, such as reduced chance of assault. Data is a critical component to effective transport planning; however, the current dearth of informal transit data has hindered municipalities’ and operators’ ability to improve transport planning for the poor.
The innovation: WhereIsMyTransport is a transport technology company that provides governments and transit operators with an open data platform for the integration of formal and informal transit data. This enables third-party apps to provide commuters with real-time transport information, it allows for more efficient planning and regulation of mass transit systems by local governments, and it also makes mass transportation more accessible, efficient and safe for the poor.
GIF’s investment: GIF is investing £560,000 in WhereIsMyTransport’s seed round in the form of a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE).
Why we invested:
- WhereIsMyTransport addresses a key barrier to inclusive growth given the scale of lost productivity and impact upon the global poor.
- Highly scalable model. By partnering with African cities and operators, WhereIsMyTransport can easily impact a large addressable market size. The underlying transit API can easily be adapted and scaled across cities, and open sourced platform increases number of data points, accuracy and awareness.
- Strong management team with a demonstrated track record in South Africa, strong technical team and commitment to social impact.
- This intervention also supports a number of the UN Sustainable Development Goals including: Goal 1 (No Poverty), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) and 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities).