On Wednesday, Kenyan traffic app Ma3Route announced it had raised a pre-seed round of US$25,000 that will help in expansion and addition of new features. The funding came from a group of five investors.
Mostly bootstrapped since its launch in late 2012, Ma3Route is a crowdsourcing technology platform that looks to solve mobility issues in emerging cities. The transportation-focused web, mobile app and SMS platform is designed to enable commuters to share information in real-time.
Already launched is #Ma3RouteCheck, which provides contextualized automated Nairobi traffic updates at specific hours.
“The company monetises this service by allowing advertising clients to sponsor #Ma3RouteCheck for a fee.”
The startup is also actively pursuing an ongoing partnership with MIT, which sees a cohort of MIT Masters students work on various topics, including navigation on the app, matatu fares, Nairobi road safety and Ma3Route data. The teams will be back in Nairobi from mid-March to pursue its field research.
The startup recently hit 500,000 active users, one month ahead of its growth plan, and has now raised some funding as it looks to expand its offering.
Previous Ma3Route traction had been achieved without significant funding. The startup won the Pivot East competition in 2013, gaining the support of m:lab East Africa in the form of office space as well as a grant.
Ma3Route was generating revenues soon after, which it used to self-fund part of its development.