WhereIsMyTransport, a public transport data and technology company originally founded in South Africa, has received an investment of £1,2-million from the Global Innovation Fund (GIF), Goodwell Investments and Bombardier.
The investment has been secured as the company completes the digital mapping of informally run public transport in South Africa’s major metropolitan areas. All data is available on the WhereIsMyTransport platform – an open API for emerging cities.
In recognition of these achievements, WhereIsMyTransport has received the International Transport Forum “Promising Transport Innovation Award” and a place in the prestigious NewCities “Global Urban Innovators” initiative.
Speaking of the digital mapping of informally run public transport, Devin de Vries, cofounder and CEO of WhereIsMyTransport, comments: “Digitalised information enables individuals and organisations to improve access to mobility for millions of people. Completing the mapping of informally run networks in South Africa’s major metropolitan areas is a milestone for WhereIsMyTransport. We invite partners to join us in utilising this data and initiating projects in other cities.”
Data from the Gauteng city region launches on the WhereIsMyTransport platform in August, joining Cape Town, East London, Durban, Port Elizabeth, and Bloemfontein.
Returning investor Goodwell Investments is joined by Bombardier and lead investor Global Innovation Fund (GIF).
Alix Zwane, CEO of GIF, comments:
“Poor mass transit disproportionally affects those living in the developing world, who either spend a greater portion of their income on motorised transport, or cannot afford to use it at all. GIF is proud to support WhereIsMyTransport, whose open data platform allows for more efficient planning and regulation of mass transit systems by local governments, and makes transport more accessible, efficient, and safe for the poor.”
Jocelyn Cheng, investment director at GIF, says: “WhereIsMyTransport’s innovation seeks to address the widespread lost productivity which accompanies inefficient mass transit systems, and which disproportionally affects the global poor. We are thrilled to invest in an organisation with a demonstrated track record in South Africa, a strong technical team, and a real commitment to social impact.”
Speaking of the funding round, de Vries says: “We are delighted to welcome the Global Innovation Fund and Bombardier to the WhereIsMyTransport family. GIF’s focus on social innovation aligns with our own vision. Bombardier’s investment is evidence of the potential of our data and technologies in building the future of mobility, and the role of partnerships in making that happen. The continued support of Goodwell Investments is a vote of confidence in our vision.”
The Promising Transport Innovation Award is offered by the International Transport Forum (ITF) – an intergovernmental organisation with 57 member countries.
José Viegas, secretary-general of ITF, says: “WhereIsMyTransport is a ground-breaking project that shows the way to the ‘infostructure’ that will drive mobility in the future. Among the many transport-related Big Data projects, it stands out in that it considers informal transport, empowers user choice and encourages developing countries to start thinking about data collection and planning. WhereIsMyTransport has the potential for significant local impacts.”