By 2100, Africa is expected to outpace every other continent in population growth, with 56% of the continent’s population expected to live in urban areas by 2050. The Lagos metropolitan area, with over 20M residents, is the largest metropolitan area in sub-Saharan Africa. Nigerian cities are the nerve centers of socio-economic and political activities, which are paralyzed by inefficient transportation, costing an estimated $5B. For commuters, this congestion means an average of 30 hours spent in traffic per week. Despite poor service conditions and low availability, the cost of public transport is very high, costing on average 40% of a household’s disposable income. For women, commuting is particularly challenging due to increased safety concerns, including sexual harassment.
It is estimated that 12M people use public transport daily in Lagos, suggesting a total addressable market of at least $5.7B. Within the office commute market, we estimate a market size of at least $420M from 437,000 employees in small to large companies. Limited quality options exist, with the state-provided Bus Rapid Transit system only carrying 200,000 passengers per day and the majority using the informal danfo minibuses. Buses account for almost 70% of the share of motorized person trips (3% BRT, 67% unregulated buses), taxis and private cars account for 20%, okada (motorcycles) account for 9%, and rail and water account for 1%. There are a few players within the tech-enabled bus mobility sector, but Shuttlers has a strong first-mover advantage with respect to B2B clients, number of routes, and bus partnerships. They will leverage these network effects to continue onboarding additional customers and bus partners. The Company is also engaging with regulatory bodies to ensure compliance and protection from unions.
Shuttlers addresses these challenges through its digital ride sharing platform (web platform and mobile app) that targets upwardly mobile professionals and companies looking for better mobility options for their employees (primarily via high-capacity buses). Through the platform, customers can book a seat on one of their buses that go along predetermined, scheduled routes. Some of the other features include live bus tracking, optimal routing based on traffic, and digital payment. Shuttlers specifically targets entry and mid-level professionals that typically earn between N80k ($200) – N300k ($750) per month. This category of users typically cannot afford to buy a car, would find traditional public transport options uncomfortable or inconvenient, and Uber too expensive. On the supply side, Shuttlers has adopted an asset-light approach. It does not own any buses and instead partners with bus suppliers, both large and small-fleet owners.