.Tech transport startup joins forces with Nigeria’s first indigenous vehicle manufacturer ahead of expansion to South-eastern states
By Ruth Akinwunmi
Plentywaka, the first bus-hailing app in Nigeria, has announced the latest move of its ambitious plan to revolutionize Nigerian travel with the new, home-grown partnership with Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM). As part of a first-of-its-kind collaboration for both companies, IVM, Nigeria’s first indigenous automotive manufacturer, is set to bolster Plentywaka’s fleet with a host of new vehicles as the leading bus-hailing startup prepares to break into South-eastern Nigeria starting with Delta state in Q4 2020.
Speaking on the partnership, Co-Founder & CEO Plentywaka, Onyeka Akumah, noted that the move is a major step towards developing a robust and reliable transport system built by Nigerians for Nigerians.
“We are two brands that have lived through an outdated transport system in Nigeria and we’re joining forces to bring our country into an era that is long overdue and driven by technology.”
“Both companines know what our people want and we know what they deserve – a safer, more comfortable and efficient means of transport, as the traction in our first year shows, we have the technology to make this a reality. With IVM on board, we’re breaking into new territory so riders in the South-eastern states are not left behind.”
Through the Plentywaka app, the company has simplified movement for commuters from point A to B with a two-step process to schedule a journey and book a seat as well as the option to pay for rides using the wakapurse e-wallet. With the new partnership in effect, Plentywaka is set to expand its range of options for riders as it pushes to capitalize on the surging demand for its service.
In his words, CEO and Founder at IVM, Dr. Innocent Chukwuma, said his company has been monitoring Plentywaka’s progress since its launch in September 2019 and their growth has been very impressive in such a short space of time.
“From our conversations with their founding team, we saw a company that was hungry and unprepared to rest on their laurels, which is why we were keen to support them in the next phase of their expansion.”
“Today marks a partnership between two industry leaders and our ambition is for this to develop a firm foundation for Nigeria to become a leader in bus travel across Africa. With our manufacturing expertise and Plentywaka’s strengths in tech and customer service, we are very confident we can achieve this and look forward to a long and successful relationship.”
Founded in 2007 by Innocent Chukwuma, Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM) is part of the Innoson Group and is the first “Made In Africa” automobile brand. With IVM’s manufacturing plant based in Anambra State, Nigeria, the partnership with Plentywaka is the first of its kind for the company as it makes its first entry into the e-hailing space.
After celebrating its first year in operation with +200,000 completed trips and 40,000+ app downloads, Plentywaka’s rapid progress is showing no signs of slowing down. The startup announced its expansion to Abuja in August 2020 and in IVM, Plentywaka is teaming up alongside a well-recognized and established brand to transform bus travel across Nigeria through technology.
Currently, commuters in the region still face the age-old problems of a lack of safety, comfort, and convenience which has plagued Nigeria’s bus network for decades. However, Plentywaka is set to make a major bid to replicate the success of its tech-driven service in Lagos and Abuja to upgrade the state of bus travel in both states.