UGANDA – Renew Capital, an impact investment firm focused on developing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa via its network of investors, the Renew Capital Angels, has made a new investment in Easy Matatu, a Ugandan minibus ridesharing service.

The funding will be used to expand Easy Matatu’s end-to-end technological platform, which allows customers to reserve a seat on a clean, recently refurbished matatu via a smartphone app and then have their highly trained, competitively compensated drivers take them to and from their destinations in comfort and efficiency. Some matatus even provide free snacks and WiFi for their passengers.

In addition to doubling its monthly trip capacity, Easy Matatu will be able to expand its fleet of cars as a result of this investment. Easy Matatu plans to expand its platform to more African cities so that residents there too have access to clean, safe, and dependable transportation.

“We realized that beyond just building an app that connects people from Point A to Point B, public transportation in African cities needed to be reformed or disrupted, and technology really presented the best tool to do that,” said Easy Matatu co-founder Carl Andrew Lema.

“Public transport in Africa is broken. Every day, 50 million commuters on the continent struggle to get to work, home or move around. We want to be part of the solution that fixes that.”

Founded with the intention of making a positive effect in Africa, Renew Capital invests in disruptive startups with the potential to expand rapidly.

Renew Capital is an investment management firm with offices in Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Uganda. Its clients are members of the Renew Capital Angels, a global network of angel investors, foundations, and family offices.

Since its inception in 2012, the network’s Angel investors have poured millions of dollars into the continent’s growing middle class.

It might be difficult to get to work in the Ugandan capital of Kampala, a metropolis of 3.6 million. Matatus, local minibuses, account for almost 80% of Kampala’s transportation system.

They are notorious for being filthy, overcrowded, badly maintained, and a major source of the city’s carbon monoxide pollution. In addition to operating slow and crowded routes for little pay, many matatu drivers lack official training.

“Commuters in Kampala, where I live, and many cities across the region, face huge challenges simply getting to and from work. The current mobility solutions are not sufficient. The problem is even more acute for women commuters,” said Renew Capital Senior Investment Manager for Uganda, Diana Njuguna.

“Easy Matatu is not only revolutionizing the transport sector by making it safer for commuters, but also by using data and analytics to create optimized routes that increase efficiency. In addition, Easy Matatu offers a properly serviced fleet, cutting down on emissions and pollution.

“It’s a great company for these many reasons, and for the fact that it’s playing a pivotal role in driving infrastructure development. We’re proud to add them to our expanding Uganda portfolio.”

Easy Matatu is a technology platform that connects commuters to transportation that is safe, dependable, and environmentally friendly.

It was established in 2019 by Andrew Ssali, Lema Carl Andrew, and Precious Turinawe. It provides customers with a smartphone application that allows them to schedule rides and select pickup spots that are geographically close to them.

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