BuuPass, previously known as Magic Bus Ticketing, is transforming Kenya’s public transportation sector by digitizing it for both operators and customers. Founded in 2016 by Wycliffe Omondi and Sonia Kabra, the startup initially aimed to offer digital bus bookings directly to consumers. However, they soon realized that most bus companies in Kenya still used manual processes.
To address this challenge, BuuPass pivoted to a B2B2C model that provides bus companies with a bus management system (BMS) to help them manage their fleet, sales, and inventory. The BMS then connects the companies to a marketplace where passengers can book tickets and compare prices from different bus operators through a mobile app, website, and USSD.
According to Techcrunch, BuuPass has secured $1.3 million in a pre-seed round, attracting investors such as Ajim Capital, Adaverse, Gullit, Founders Factory Africa, Google Black Founders Fund, FrontEnd Ventures and Daba Finance.
“The funding will enable us to invest in growth activities, increasing our market share in East Africa, with a focus on Kenya and Uganda. We will hire a team especially on the growth side, and technology experts so that we can build systems for scale because our plan is to become a pan-African infrastructure for long distance transportation,” said co-CEO, Sonia Kabra.
BuuPass is proud to report that it processes around 12,000 transactions daily across its various booking channels, with a total of over 9 million ticket sales recorded so far. Its Gross Merchandise Value was just over $30 million in the year 2022. The company supports a fleet of 1,200 vehicles from over 25 bus companies, including the well-established Easy Coach.
In addition to bus tickets, BuuPass also offers travelers the convenience of booking flight and train tickets, particularly for those using Kenya’s railway network for intercity travel. In 2017, BuuPass joined forces with Safaricom, the parent company of the widely-used mobile money service M-Pesa, to secure the contract for facilitating train bookings in Kenya.