Ma3Route, a Kenyan mobile/web/SMS platform that crowd-sources for transport data and provides users with information on traffic, has raised US$25,000 in a pre-seed round from a group of investors.
Ma3Route will use the funds to expand out of Nairobi and add more features to its product, chief of which is the #Ma3RouteCheck, a service that provides automated traffic updates at specific hours.
Through the #Ma3RouteCheck feature, the startup hopes to make money through advertisements on tweets with the #Ma3RouteCheck hashtag. Other traffic updates will be provided for free.
— Ma3Route (@Ma3Route) March 9, 2016
This round of funding indicates that the startup, which has largely been self-funded, is serious about expanding its coverage and diversifying its product offering.
The startup has been making waves since it launched four years ago. From that time till date, Ma3Route has won the best startup in the Mobile Utility Category at Pivot East 2013, the Kenyan ICT Innovation Award (2014), the SOMA SME of the Year Award (2014), and best local app in Kenya in 2015.
Kenyan software engineer, Laban Okune founded Ma3Route in July 2012. Laban wants Ma3Route to make travelling easier in developing countries by democratizing timely transport information.
The startup hopes to bring greater sanity to the roads and inform city planning and transport regulation in emerging economies through the provision of transport data and trend analysis.