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Orbit’s Treepz founder Onyeka Akumah on the future of transportation tech in West Africa
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Hannah DeTavis
Mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) provider Treepz is now the largest bus-sharing platform in West Africa. Source: Treepz

TechCrunch recently interviewed Onyeka Akumah, co-founder and CEO of Nigeria-based mobility-as-a-service platform Treepz (MOX12), to learn about the future of transportation tech in the article, “Treepz founder Onyeka Akumah on how to succeed in transportation tech”

Treepz’s MaaS model includes three main verticals: “Daily Treepz,” an Uber-like service for minivans and buses with fixed daily routes from bus stop to bus stop; “Travel Treepz,” an intercity bus service in which Treepz acts as an aggregator for other bus companies; and corporate bookings, which provides transportation for businesses.

In Nov. 2021, TechCrunch reported on Treepz’s success closing a $2.8M seed round led by Xchange and supported by SOSV and Shock Ventures, among others. Treepz is an alum of SOSV’s Orbit Startups program, which focuses on growth companies in emerging markets.

In TechCrunch’s most recent interview with Akumah, the Treepz founder commented, “We are preparing to raise our Series A, and we already have some interest. Some of our current investors want to invest, but they’re waiting for us to go to market.”

Speaking on Treepz’ expansion plan, Akumah told TechCrunch that the company, which has already extended from Lagos to Ghana to the west and Uganda to the east, will soon move country by country through other sub-Saharan regions. 

“Within the next year, we are hoping to be in 10 African countries. At the moment we’re in three. We want to hit that mark before considering an opportunity to export the technology outside of Africa,” Akumah explained. “We’re not going to force our technology down people’s throats. We’re looking for collaborators, partners, investors that are happy to help us scale across the region. What we’re really after is building the leading shared mobility platform across the continent of Africa.”

Offering advice to other startups in the transportation sector, Akumah said, “My advice to any transportation entrepreneur is that if you’re looking at transportation, you shouldn’t necessarily look at profits from Day One. You should be looking at the scale of your operations. The sweet spot for us at Treepz is not making the maximum margin from a customer the first time they use a service. We’d rather they tell many other people about our service. The little margins you get over the long haul are what makes it exciting. So it’s a patient game in transportation.”    

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