Singapore-based transport disruptor Bussr has caught the eye of global investment titans for their vision to change the way the world gets from A to B.
It could be said that the choked traffic of any modern city is emblematic of its economy’s growth over the last four or five decades.
Both relentlessly crept forward over the years, with some planning and with some chaos.
The growth of both is undeniable.
With people looking for better lives in our cities, the world’s urban population has grown 55% in the last 50 years. As a result, our cities now generate more than 80% of our global GDP. Central to that growth is mobility, so the demand for urban road passenger transport is expected to double by 2050.
The economy is reliant on the freedom of movement of its citizens to be productive members of society. Yet vehicle owners in Rome spend 166 hours stuck in traffic and congestion. For drivers in Jakarta, it’s around 150 hours per year. That’s nearly a whole week lost every year in the lives of everyday people.
Today both the transport sector and the larger economy are indeed very intertwined. As the transport industry struggles under its own weight, a bottleneck in a nation’s traffic is a bottleneck in its economy.
Using ASEAN cities as an example, time lost in traffic jams cost the region up to US$155 billion per year.
There is also an irrefutable human cost. Eighty percent of air pollution in Asia is caused by road transport alone. That means that the transport sector is largely responsible for the four billion people in Asia and the Pacific being exposed to air pollution levels that are of significant risk to their health.
Forward-thinking cities and governments have now had the undeniable realization that the future lies in mass transit such as buses, subways, trains, and ferries, as well as walking and cycling. The rise of electric vehicles (EVs), micromobility, Uber, Grab, and Didi have made inroads over the last few years, but more needs to be done to address the systemic throttling in the global transport sector.
Bussr’s Big Thinking Has Attracted Big Backing
There is already an abundance of talent at Bussr’s table. Hussein Abdelkarim was a founder at Rocket Internet, the world’s largest internet venture builder. I.M. Shousha has led major digital transformation projects for governments and large companies with top-tier global consulting firms like PwC and Deloitte. Ajay Bhandari was Microsoft’s Chief Architect and Google’s Enterprise Architect in a billion-customer market.
All three have the deep experience and expertise needed to transform the multi-billion dollar transportation sector. Being based in Singapore, where 100% of the population is urban, they also have a head-start in seeing the future.
However, Bussr’s bold but lucid vision has also caught the eye of investment and technology titans who can see Bussr’s potential to reshape roads and economies.
Bussr recently raised an undisclosed amount in a round led by high-profile investors, such as Bridford Group, Peng Ong of Monk’s Hill, Le Mercier Group, Jack Selby of Thiel Capital, Altitude Partners, Angela Huang of Hillhouse, Duncan Clark, Founder of China BDA, Alibaba early investor, and author of the book “The House That Jack Ma Built,” Andrew Huang of Fountainvest, and AI Capital, the founding team of Siri. There are also strategic angel investors from Facebook, PayPal, Lyft, Spotify, Zoom, Didi, Impossible Foods, and more.
Funds will expand Bussr’s teams across engineering and product design while also creating further strategic partnerships to enhance its reputation as a global player in mobility technology.
Bussr is Bringing Elegance to the Chaos
Analysts believe the global transit and ground passenger transportation market will reach US$908.8 billion by 2027. With that growth must come genuine innovation.
Enter Bussr, the vision of tech entrepreneur Hussein Abdelkarim, former Rocket Internet founder and CEO, I.M. Shousha, a veteran technology consultant and co-founder, and Ajay Bhandari, former Microsoft Chief Architect, CTO, and co-founder.
The trio believes they can see the sector’s future and make things better by digitizing the mobility market. As they see it, the transport sector is currently a chaotic dance, and they trust that their technology will bring a choreographed elegance to the way people travel.
As it stands, private travelers must book travel manually, linking up different travel methods at different times that are as close to convenient as possible. Transport providers run on schedules based on decades-old tradition, more so than real-time data. The inefficiencies for both travelers and transport providers are abundant.
Bussr’s Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) technology acts as both an app for private use and an end-to-end, omnichannel ticketing, payment, and fleet management solution for enterprises. Its specialist artificial intelligence (AI) platform continually monitors millions of data points to help mass transportation systems operate at optimal efficiency for both passengers and operators.
For an individual, the Bussr app is available on Android and iOS. It can provide full travel options utilizing ride-sharing, public buses, trains, renting of scooters, and even bicycles to get to their destination. The app manages every facet of the journey — all the user has to do is enter Point A and Point B.
The AI provides the user with the most optimal route in terms of time and cost, all while reducing their carbon footprint by reducing dependence on single-occupant vehicle use. With over 2,500 destinations in 370 cities, more than 6,000,000 travelers used Bussr’s network in 2019 alone.
Bussr’s app can be branded or white-labeled for transport providers and is available to cities, operators, schools, and corporates. The enterprise use of Bussr allows the management of ticketing and payment and provides immense data insights into traveler flow, density, and timing. Operators can then accurately predict and plan the future needs of both passengers and transport solutions.
What’s more, Bussr offers real-time communication, fleet maintenance, and automated workflows creating the foundations of efficient fleet management. Cities and operators will ultimately be able to manage their citizen and passenger mobility needs better while reducing pollution and congestion.
Future-proofing benefits for governments and private mobility partners include facial recognition capabilities for passenger check-in, safety, and security.
More than 900 transport partners have already begun to reap the advantages of Bussr’s technology. Current partners include Bluebird, the largest private transportation group in Southeast Asia, and Royal Platinum and Pahala Kencana, the largest intracity and intercity private operators in Indonesia. There are also 60 major payment providers already on the Bussr platform.
Traditional transport is frantic and inefficient. Each Bussr trip is a choreographed, seamless leap from place to place — leaving cities less congested, less polluted, and free to breathe again.
All of which are part of Bussr realizing its goal to digitize mobility and connect the world.