Kenyan traffic information app Ma3Route has raised a pre-seed round of US$25,000 from investors as it seeks to expand beyond Nairobi and add more features to its product.
Ma3Route is a crowdsourcing platform that provides traffic information via its mobile app, website and social media channels.
The app recently hit 500,000 active users who use the app to check for and share traffic updates and information on the state of roads in Nairobi in real-time.
The startup behind the app is looking to expand its range of features. One such feature is #Ma3RouteCheck, a service that provides automated traffic updates at specific hours. While other updates are provided for free, sponsors can pay for advertising on tweets with the #Ma3RouteCheck hashtag.
— Ma3Route (@Ma3Route) March 9, 2016
So far, Ma3Route’s growth has largely been self-funded, and this move to take on external funding is an indication of the startup’s aim to increase its coverage and diversify its product offering.
Ma3Route was founded in July 2012 by Kenyan software engineer Laban Okune. It is a small operation, with a core team of seven. However, the startup is making big strides, winning several awards in the process.
In the four years since it was founded, 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.
Ma3Route’s model can be adapted and replicated elsewhere. The startup aspires to be the default traffic information application for African cities and other urban areas in emerging markets.