Finnish firm unveils bus booking service in Kenya


Passengers in a bus. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Online bus booking platform AfriKonekta has unveiled its services in the Kenyan market, setting the stage for intensified competition with the local players, including Buupass and Quickbus.

The Helsinki-based mobility platform targets long-distance bus operators in Nairobi by enabling travellers to reserve seats online.

The platform has integrated parcel delivery services targeting small and medium enterprises, online merchants, and individuals.

The service is available on an app, Internet, WhatsApp or via a toll-free phone call will allow travellers to book their tickets, choose seats and pay fares digitally.

An update on AfriKonekta’s website shows that it costs Sh2,500 from Nairobi to Moyale and Sh1,000 from Bungoma to Nairobi. It serves 37 destinations, including Eldoret, Kisumu, Homa Bay, Kisii, Kakuma, Kapenguria, and Kitale.

“Our commitment is to deliver a revolutionary means of travel that makes long-distance travel in Africa a tech-powered and attractive option.

“We have studied the best practices of global platforms, added our comprehensive expertise of the long-distance bus industry, and adapted the service to the African market needs,” said Tichaona Dande, chief executive at Afrikonekta.

The startup has signed up more than 20 bus operators, including Msamaria Mwema, Nya Ugenya, Salama Bus, Transline Kemera Sacco, Promise Buses, We Travellers Sacco, and Eldoret Express.

“We are looking to sign up more players and launch operations in Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Rwanda by early next year,” he said.

The startup says the move aims to expand its presence in Africa and strengthen its inventory of partner operators.

During its six months pilot phase, in Kenya, the company sold 45,000 tickets as it sought to understand the specific needs of Kenyan operators as well as local passengers.

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