BookNow, the Nairobi-based bus ticket aggregator, has closed the round from 10 angels. Angels include local businessmen Mahendra K.D. Shah, Ravi Shah, Ritesh Doshi and four of 88mph's investors and team who went in personally as well.
The company will use the funds to accelerate growth within the Kenyan market, by improving its product offering, and hiring customer support staff.
"The majority of travellers in Sub-Saharan Africa use the public bus system, but accessing information on schedules, pricing, availability of seats as well as acquiring a bus ticket is too tasking and can take a whole day" says Francis Gesora, co-founder and CEO of BookNow. "This service intends to, and already is, bringing advantages in speed, information, cost and time savings to bus travellers and the industry. We have been able to pull together an investor pool that brings strategic advantages to BookNow's operations through their skills and expertise, which we are able to draw upon as we grow and expand."
The bus industry in East Africa, currently at a market value of $150M, is rapidly growing. BookNow is the first startup to bring web and mobile technologies to the industry, challenging the manual, painstaking process of booking bus tickets, and transforming it into a simple mobile tool where bus tickets can be acquired in exchange for mobile money at the click of a button.
Founded by Francis Gesora and Michael Nguru in August 2013, BookNow is a Kenyan based startup that aggregates bus tickets within the Kenyan market from several bus operators, and allows travellers to access information as well as purchase bus tickets online and make payment via Mobile Money. BookNow originally received seed funding from, and was part of 88mph's 2013 Nairobi accelerator program.