On September 21, WRI and partners in the Africa Mobility Initiative (AMI) selected nine startups for the 2020/2021 cohort through AMI’s Africa Transformative Mobility Accelerator (ATMA). AMI’s vision is to create a vast network of continental and global transformative mobility enthusiasts, who work together to create sustainable and scalable solutions to mobility challenges in Africa.

All nine startups offer transformative, practical, well-researched and tested solutions addressing urban mobility challenges in East African cities, from safety to transport connectivity and reliability. The startups were selected through a competitive evaluation process of 112 applications from Kenya and Uganda.

The admitted startups will now go through a six-month acceleration program, begun on October 12. During these six months, they will receive coaching and mentorship from local and international mobility and enterprise development experts; participate in immersion trips to Nairobi and Kampala to network with mobility stakeholders and practitioners; and attend a series of customized seminars facilitated by subject matter experts in topics ranging from value proposition design, to business modeling, to customer acquisition. On April 30, 2021, the nine startups will pitch their solutions to a curated pool of investors at the Africa Transformative Mobility Summit hosted by AMI in Nairobi. The top startups will receive a grant of up to $25,000 to scale up their solutions.

AMI is implemented by the University of Nairobi’s C4DLab with support from World Resources Institute and Shell Foundation, the Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI), the German Organization for International Cooperation GmbH (GIZ), and UN-HABITAT. AMI is the immediate iteration of the TUMI Startup Accelerator, which ran in the 2018/2019 calendar year and provided technical support to eight startups in Kenya for transformative urban mobility solutions.

The nine selected startups are:

Amitruck (Kenya)

Amitruck is bringing trust and transparency to transport. The company connects every cargo owner with interested transporters in a transparent, efficient and secure manner, then lets them agree on their own terms.

Ecobodaa (Kenya)

Ecobodaa is working on a rent-to-own model in Kenya so that the informal motorcycle (boda-boda) drivers can eventually own electric-powered motorcycles. Ecobodaa assembles electric motorbikes locally with a charging system. The motorbikes are given to boda-boda drivers on a rent-to-own model.

Kiri EV Ltd (Kenya)

Kiri Ev manufactures affordable, stylish electric vehicles for the Kenyan and East African market. Their motorcycles and scooters are designed to out-compete the incumbent 125cc and 150cc petrol motorcycles on power, durability and performance.

Smatbeba (Kenya)

Smatbeba is revolutionizing the transportation and logistics industry by making delivery of goods faster, reliable and efficient. Clients place orders and request quotes on the Smatbeba App or website, and they are able to track the progress of deliveries as well as have their goods insured while on transit.

SafariShare (Uganda)

SafariShare is tailored for traveling individuals, keen on navigating the demands of life safely and affordably. Registered car owners/drivers make available their travel times and routes to subscribers so that those traveling to the same destination can travel with a driver at a reasonable cost.

Easy Matatu (Uganda)

Easy Matatu works with matatu drivers to provide a network of safe, clean and reliable minibuses accessible to any commuter through the Easy Matatu app.

Quick Tap (Uganda)

QuickTap employs Near Field Communication (NFC) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technologies to deliver secure, easy, fast and efficient payments and access control services for bus companies. These technologies are an emerging solution to making cashless payments for goods and services in a secure and convenient way.

Zembo Motorcycle (Uganda)

Zembo offers electric motorcycles to boda-boda drivers and recharges batteries in its solar stations. The drivers can acquire motorcycles on a rent-to-own basis and get cheaper energy from their solar recharge station.

Ugabus (Uganda)

UgaBus makes available e-ticketing for buses operating across East Africa, enabling travelers to buy bus tickets online through secure mobile money and card payment options. UgaBus also provides a smart ticketing gadget used at the ticketing stations.