BusCaro secures investment to mobilise commuter journeys in Pakistan

Mobility startup BusCaro has secured $1.5 million in a pre-seed funding round to tackle the commuting challenges faced by many in Pakistan.

The funding, led by Orbit Startups with contributions from Wahed Ventures and various angels from the mobility sector, aims to enhance daily transportation in Pakistan's urban areas.

In Pakistan's three largest cities, over 40,000 minivans and buses, mostly privately owned, are not fully utilised. Commuters often struggle with unclear pricing and experiences that are unreliable and unaffordable, while operators face financial unpredictability.

Buscaro is an app-based platform designed to improve the commuting experience for both passengers and operators. By adopting a direct partnership B2B2C model, Buscaro effectively aligns demand with supply, leading to better vehicle utilisation. This approach not only increases income for operators and drivers but also maintains affordability for consumers. The platform incorporates features like driver background checks, vehicle inspections, tracking, an emergency response team, and round-the-clock customer support, aiming to offer a more secure and dependable service.

Founded in October 2022 by Maha Shahzad, Buscaro has quickly expanded across Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad. The startup currently processes over 20,000 bookings per day and anticipates profitability by early 2024. At its present scale, BusCaro contributes to reducing the carbon footprint by over three million kilograms annually.

In Pakistan, existing mass transit options are often not viable for various reasons, particularly impacting women who have limited options and face significant barriers in workforce participation. BusCaro's goal is to address this challenge by partnering with corporations and educational institutions to offer their employees and students a consistent and safe commuting experience.

Maha Shahzad, Founder and CEO of BusCaro, remarked: “A safe and affordable commute is a basic human right and making that possible 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.”

William Bao Bean, Managing General Partner at Orbit Startups, on leading the investment round, stated: “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.”