• BusCaro, led by founder Maha Shazhad, secures $1.5 million in pre-seed funding for its commuting platform.
  • BusCaro expands to cities, prioritizing safety with features like real-time tracking and emergency response teams.
  • BusCaro aims for profitability by 2024, focusing on B2B2C partnerships, public sector collaboration, and the introduction of electric vehicles.

BusCaro, founded by Maha Shazhad, raises $1.5 million in pre-seed funding led by Orbit Startups and SOSV’s program for startups in emerging markets. The platform offers a B2B2C model, partnering with universities and corporations to provide safe and reliable commuting options. 

With features like driver background checks and real-time tracking, BusCaro aims to address the security concerns prevalent in public transportation. Shazhad, drawing on her experience at ride-hailing app Careem and mobility startup Swvl, positions BusCaro as a cost-effective solution for the 85% of working women in Pakistan who have faced sexual harassment on public transport.

Expanding reach and ensuring safety

Since its 2022 launch, BusCaro has expanded operations to major cities, boasting over 300 vehicles and 20,000 daily bookings. The startup prioritizes rider safety, offering emergency response teams, a live-tracking feature, and a unique safety measure allowing women to use a masked name. 

Shazhad's model emphasizes B2B partnerships, reducing customer acquisition costs and positioning BusCaro as an affordable and secure alternative in a market where many commuters spend a significant portion of their income on transportation.

Strategic growth and future plans

BusCaro aims for profitability by early 2024, leveraging its business model to achieve financial sustainability. Shazhad outlines plans to expand B2B2C partnerships, collaborate with the public sector on transportation subsidies, and introduce electric vehicles to combat rising fuel costs.

The startup's commitment to providing accessible and secure commuting options aligns with its broader mission of transforming daily commutes for all segments of the Pakistani population.

Edited by Shruti Thapa