Cape Town startup WhereIsMyTransport raises $900k, launches London office

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Cape Town-based transport solutions startup WhereIsMyTransport has raised a seed round of ZAR12 million (US$900,000) and announced the beginning of its expansion overseas with the launch of an office in London, United Kingdom (UK).

Disrupt Africa reported in March South African transport solutions startup WhereIsMyTransport launched Findmyway, an app offering a point-to-point journey planner integrating public and alternate modes of transport, in Tshwane.

The app, also set for launches in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Nelson Mandela Bay, Durban and Buffalo City, is based on live data and allows commuters to choose between all available routes and public transport options, simply by entering their destination.

The startup has now announced it closed an oversubscribed seed round in July from local and international investors, including Infotech, Horizen Ventures and Goodwell Investments. Former Nedbank chief executive officer (CEO) Tom Boardman and Kim Fennell, CEO of deCarta, made personal investments.

WhereIsMyTransport has also confirmed the opening of an office in London. The new office will allow the company to more easily connect with its clients globally, though its primary development workshop will remain in Cape Town.

“We’ve very proud to be a company that was born and raised in Africa, and our commitment to building solutions that serve developing cities remains unchanged,” said co-founder Devin de Vries.

“Having an international base for operations makes it easier for us to reach other cities outside Africa and gives us the resources, credibility and access to venture capital needed to compete on a global scale.”

He said the startup was “fortunate” to have a strong group of investors from key industries back its development.

“Their added expertise and experience will be crucial as we enter a new phase of product development and international expansion,” he said.

It has been a good year so far for WhereIsMyTransport, which in January was one of 13 companies picked for the Grindstone accelerator. Also a part of the Microsoft BizSpark programme, in April it was confirmed by WWF South Africa (WWF-SA) as one of the winners of the 2015 South African Climate Solver Awards, in recognition of innovations that reduce carbon emissions or boost access to energy.

Earlier this month, the startup was chosen as one of two winners at the local leg of the Start Tel Aviv competition, and will now go on to represent South Africa at the global final alongside the other winner, Funda.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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