BuuPass, a Kenyan travel booking platform backed by Founders Factory Africa and FrontEnd Ventures, has acquired its Nigeria and South Africa-based competitor QuickBus. Both companies declined to share the transaction amount for the cash and stock deal. 

QuickBus’s developers and product managers will join BuuPass to facilitate integration processes, while head of operations in South Africa will join BuuPass’s management team. 

The acquisition will expand BuuPass’s partnerships with banks and telcos that offer multiple services, such as API integration features. For instance, BuuPass partnered with the M-PESA app, a financial super app, to provide its booking services to around 10 million Kenyans who use the mobile money app.

“Quickbus gives BuuPass access to existing integration with major distribution channels in Nigeria and South Africa, such as Vodaphone’s VodaPay app in South Africa,” the startup said.

BuuPass will then replace QuickBus branding within existing integrations like VodaPay. Nigerian and South African users will also find BuuPass as their travel booking option across various platforms.

The acquisition combines two businesses with different strengths. Buupass, which raised $1.3 million in 2023, is looking to expand into other African countries and will now have access to South Africa and Nigeria. Those new markets will push its active monthly users to 650,000.

QuickBus, which first launched in Kenya in 2017, raised over $1 million in a 2020 seed round. New ownership will see it expand interesting products and features like its Cash Advance. 

Since launching in 2016, Buupass has sold over 6 million travel tickets and generated over $100 million in ticket sales. The platform “covers national and cross-border routes in East and Southern Africa and has served over 16 million passengers,” the company said.

The integration processes will entail rolling out additional travel options, such as train and flight bookings, which have been limited in BuuPass’s Kenyan market.

“Starting today, BuuPass users can access international routes across 16 African countries, including Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Malawi, Nigeria, and Ghana. Major routes, such as Johannesburg to Cape Town and Durban to Capetown, can be found on the platform today, with more to be added by the end of Q2,” BuuPass added.

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