Zeelo, a smart commuter mobility platform for organisations in South Africa and Europe, has raised R175-million to accelerate its expansion in Africa, the UK, the US and Europe.
The funding will also aid investment in Zeelo’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology offering, and its continued rollout of fully electric bus shuttle programmes.
Zeelo has recorded 600% revenue growth over the past 18 months, reaching regional profitability, by supporting companies in the logistics and manufacturing industries, as well as post-pandemic hybrid workplaces and schools, and enabling access for people in poorly served areas to reach their places of work and education.
The company says it works with employers, schools and fleet operators to deliver affordable and convenient transport services that provide a viable alternative to public transport options, or to driving a car, in order to support staff safety and reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from commuting.
“Through the use of Zeelo’s mobile apps, client workplace planning tools, route-optimisation software and asset-light vehicle model, costs – both external and internal –are greatly reduced versus using traditional shuttle and bus operators, with carbon dioxide emissions also reduced with every trip.”
Zeelo offers turnkey and SaaS solutions to customers such as Liberty, Stanlib, GlaxoSmithKline, Firmenichand Amazon.
“What we’ve seen is a lack of safe and efficient shared transport,” says Zeelo co-founder and CEO Sam Ryan.
“Among our shift-worker customers, 30% of staff struggle to get to work as they don’t have access to safe transport.
“Zeelo is playing an important role in improving social mobility and decarbonising transportation. In the past 18 months, employers have realised the importance of this too. Now it’s time to bring this to the masses.”
Zeelo will use the capital acquired to accelerate its African and global expansion, and to roll out its technology platform as a SaaS solution to fleet operator partners, while encouraging the transition to zero-emission buses and coaches.
This particular funding round was led by ETF Partners, with participation from InMotion Ventures and various angel investors, including Neil Smith, founder of Transit Systems.
“Zeelo’s focus on public transport deserts directly tackles the issues of poor public transport, transport emissions and social mobility,” says ETF Partners managing partner Patrick Sheehan.
“The growth of the business during the pandemic has been extraordinary and we are delighted to continue to support the business. The world needs more affordable and sustainable mass transit – Zeelo is defining the category.”
Zeelo has 70 customers and moves nearly 100 000 riders a month.