This Startup Is Revolutionizing Asia's Mobility Market

Bussr provides an app for mobility companies and passengers that combines all options for real-time trip planning, scheduling, payment and more through one app

By Srivatsa KR


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In the past decade, mobility in all corners of the world has changed quite significantly, with tech startups such as Uber, Didi and Grab and personal transportation solutions like e-scooters and Tesla's autopilot system reshaping how humans go from one place to another. However, according to a myriad of climate change researchers, the recent developments in the mobility sector are far from sufficient to even slightly reduce the global warming effects expected to rise during the following two decades.

Nevertheless, startups from around the globe are still one of the world's biggest hopes to fight man-made climate change with technological solutions. In late 2019, two entrepreneurs decided to be part of this global revolution.

Hussein Abdelkarim, former Rocket Internet founder and CEO, and I.M. Shousha, a veteran technology consultant, founded Bussr. With access to vast experience in building and scaling product, growth, and revenue teams across early- to late-stage Internet companies, Bussr helps transportation service providers digitize southeast Asia's mobility market.

Asia's mobility sectors need an update

With about 60 per cent of the world's population living in Asia and around 8.5 per cent of the total world population living in southeast Asia alone, there are many logistical problems that arise because of the sheer amount of people trying to travel. People need to get to work or the supermarket, and with 50 per cent of the southeast Asian population living in cities, this can lead to congested traffic.

But the other 50 per cent of the population also pose a challenge for mobility companies. Coordinating and providing so many routes and schedules as well as selling tickets the old-fashioned way is a major task, and digitization can help solve it.

Bussr provides an app for mobility companies and passengers that combines all options for real-time trip planning, scheduling, payment, and more in one app. Its AI-powered mobility solutions cover planning, operations, and analytics, and have proven value in reducing congestion, growing ridership, and increasing efficiency and asset utilization.

With a fully customizable bus booking app and ticketing system for bus operators, Bussr enables cities and governments to better manage their citizens' mobility needs by increasing accessibility and reducing congestion as well as pollution by automating operations.

According to the International Council on Clean Transportation, passenger vehicles account for around 50 per cent of all transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions. While bus rides naturally also produce greenhouse gas emissions, they are considerably smaller than those of cars, bikes, or other passenger vehicles, especially if the bus is full.

The more people take a bus, the lower the greenhouse gas emissions per passenger mile become.

Bussr prepares for growth

The southeast Asian mobility sector is currently worth around $279 billion, and it is expected to grow considerably in the next decades. Transportation and mobility are a major factor of economic growth since the infrastructure is essential to the economy. As the economy grows, the mobility sector grows.

To enable efficient growth, Bussr raised money in a round led by Bridford, Le Mercier, Jack Selby of Thiel Capital, Altitude Partners, AI Capital, and partnered with strategic angel investors from Facebook, PayPal, Lyft, Spotify, Zoom, Impossible Food, and more. The company will use the acquired funds to strengthen its market leadership and expand its team across engineering, product, design, growth and partnerships.

While IM Shousha, on the other hand, has specialized in leading major digital transformation projects of governments and large companies for top tier global consulting firms such as Strategy&, PwC and Deloitte. Both founders have enough expertise in transportation and logistics in Southeast Asia that can make Bussr the "Shopify for mobility."

What is Bussr?

Bussr provides a complete omnichannel ticketing and payment solution, branded or under white-label, to cities, operators, schools, and enterprises in southeast Asia. This mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) full-stack mobility platform offers passenger and driver apps to ease transportation issues across entire cities.

The app is available on Android and iOS, and riders can plan, book, and pay for transportation services, such as bus, train, ferry, car, and others. With over 2,500 destinations in 370 cities, more than 6,000,000 travelers used Bussr's network in 2019 alone.

It offers transit businesses monthly origin-destination data reports and visitor search analytics to help predict and address future needs and enables them to offer riders convenient and sustainable mobility solutions that encourage shared mobility. Further, with optimized trip planning, real-time arrivals, and integrated service alerts, it provides commuters and travelers with a way to find the simplest mobility options for getting from point A to point B within the city.

Bussr solves the first- and last-mile challenges by providing sustainable mobility alternatives, reducing costs associated with parking, and providing insights into traffic patterns, leading to additional optimization and less congested streets. It also provides a way to enable alternative mobility options, such as scooter-sharing and bike-sharing that eliminate traffic congestion and emissions. With real-time data and analytics presented in an easy-to-use dashboard, administrators can track entire taxi or bus fleets and efficiently operate as well as optimize the service in real-time to meet their specific requirements.

The expertise of Abdelkarim and Shousha in transportation and logistics in southeast Asia sets up Bussr to transform current transportation systems. This more flexible, single-service approach means commuters and travelers can easily plan, book, and pay for more sustainable mobility services to help reduce emissions and the production of single-user vehicles.

Srivatsa KR

Start-up enthusiast & Blogger

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