- The CEO of Shuttlers, a ride-sharing company in Nigeria, Damilola Olokesusi said she started the company based on personal experience
- She said the company is not just providing comfort but safety for commuters at reduced cost in cities like Lagos
- According to her Shuttlers operates in a niche market and has over 200 fleets, operates in over 50 routes with 200 bus stops
Something must lead to something, a local saying Nigeria says, but it has come to define the experience of many Nigerians who want to shape the system or completely change the narrative about their Nigerian experience.
For Damilola Olokesusi, her sister’s experience using public transportation in the chaotic city of Lagos was the straw that broke the camel's back and led her to found a niche, tech-driven transport company, Shuttlers.
In an interview with Legit.ng, Olokesusi said that after experiencing comfort in cities like Enugu and Ibadan, where she grew up, using the public transport system in Lagos was something she found difficult to adapt to and then her sister’s experience with robbers posing as commercial drivers in Lagos hammered the nail home.
How Shuttlers started
Olokesusi said her experience in using smart transport systems abroad also contributed to how she came to believe she can change the system in cities like Lagos, where the transport system is chaotic and has been hijacked by street urchins and transport unions.
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She founded Shuttlers, a unique, tech-driven ride-sharing company in Lagos where passengers can split fares and board their vehicles at a reduced cost.
The aim, Olokesusi said, is not just to provide comfort, but safety in cities like Lagos where even ride-hail companies are being targeted by criminals.
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The CEO of Shuttlers said she is trying to make a difference in the transport industry in Nigeria.
Have a niche, not everyone is your audience
“As a company, we are targeting the corporate market unlike players in the industry who target individuals. This alone sets us apart from others and allows us to focus on giving the best service to our customers.
“Shuttlers is for the upwardly mobile populace, the tech-savvy guys that really wouldn't want to drive from Monday to Friday. In fact, 45 per cent of our customers have access to their own cars.
“We run an affordable and accessible bus sharing platform which is something a lot of people need in this economy. Unlike other ride-hailing platforms, we can conveniently take people from Iyana Ipaja to Victoria Island for N750.”
A seed-funding with a goal
In 2021, Damilola led her team to raise $1.6 million in seed funding for Shuttlers meant to expand its operations to major cities in Nigeria.
She says that the fund has helped Shuttlers increase its fleet, add more routes, more bus stops and expand to Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
With 200 buses in their fleet and a bus with the capacity to convey about 20-25 people to and from work, Shuttlers is hopeful of achieving its sustainability agenda of reducing the number of cars on the road and reducing traffic congestion, Olokesusi said.
The Chemical Engineering graduate from the University of Lagos said her company is not playing in the same field as the big shots like Uber and Bolt but despite those ones encroaching into her space.
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