Mobility startup BusCaro announces $1.5m funding round to address the daily commute challenge facing millions of Pakistanis. The pre-seed funding round was led by Orbit Startups with participation from Wahed Ventures and notable angels from the mobility sector.
Pakistans three largest cities have over 40,000 under-utilised minivans and buses, typically owned by private operators. The daily experience of using these buses is mired by opaque pricing, and an unreliable, unaffordable, and unsafe experience for commuters on the one hand, and a financially unpredictable one for operators on the other.
Buscaro is an app-based platform with enhanced safety and reliability features that improve the experience for both commuters and operators. Using a direct partnership B2B2C model, Buscaro is better able to match demand with supply, improving vehicle utilisation and thereby increasing operator and driver incomes while keeping costs affordable for end consumers. Features such as driver background checks, vehicle inspections and tracking, on-ground emergency response team and a 24/7 customer support team enable a safer, more reliable service for consumers.
With 10 years of industry experience behind her, Maha Shahzad founded Buscaro in October 2022. The startup has since expanded operations across Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, doing over 20,000 bookings per day, and is on track to become profitable by early 2024. At its current scale, BusCaro is helping reduce carbon footprint by over 3M kg per year.
The few mass commute options available in Pakistan are mostly unsafe, unreliable, inaccessible or unaffordable. The worst affected are women who have the fewest options available to begin with and face the biggest hurdles in workforce participation. With the mission of addressing this challenge using a sustainable business model, BusCaro partners directly with corporates and educational institutions to provide their employees and students with a seamless, safe commute experience.
Maha Shahzad, Founder and CEO of BusCaro commented: A safe and affordable commute is a basic human right and making that happen with a sustainable and profitable business model should be entirely possible. We are pleased to have investors who believe in our mission of providing the masses of Pakistan with a safe, secure and reliable means of transport.
On leading the investment round, William Bao Bean, Managing General Partner at Orbit Startups added: Diversity and inclusion is tough to achieve when women have to spend north of 30% of their salary on getting to work in a safe and predictable way. We backed BusCaro because they enable women and men to book safe, inexpensive and efficient shared transport to and from work, driving opportunities and opening up the overall economy.
BusCaro is a tech-based mobility company aimed at simplifying daily commutes. Paired with a technology stack, and the mission to drive a positive change in the mobility sector, BusCaro is a seamless solution for the daily pick and drop. The dedicated team has streamlined operations to provide users with a hassle-free experience.
About Orbit Startups
Orbit Startups helps scale breakthrough companies across emerging and frontier markets in Southeast and South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas. Orbit invests through its fund SOSV, a US-based venture capital firm with US$1.5 billion in assets under management. Notable investments include VideoVerse, technology partner to the Olympics and the UKs Premier League; fintech pioneer BitMEX; ELSA Speak, Google Gradients first investment in Asia; MarketForce, Africas leading merchant marketplace; and Dastgyr, Pakistans aspiring Alibaba Group.
Orbit is the first and longest running startup program in Asia based out of Shanghai, Taipei, Kuala Lumpur, and Seoul. The program provides hands-on support for partnerships, business development, fundraising and growth. It is focussed on digitalization to drive efficiency across ecommerce, fintech, media, healthcare, education, and logistics and drive a revolution for the next four billion.
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