There are a number of taxi hailing companies in Kenya with new ones launching everyday building on the success of the Uber model globally. However, not all of them are safe and reliable just because they have a functional app.
Apart from safety, the list also looks at other features and services such as USSD, courier, motorcycle taxis, tuktuks among others. The next set of articles will look at simplicity of use, pricing, presence of local languages, emergency and support services among others.
Launched in Kenya two years ago by Craft Silicon and Safaricom, Little has panic button for users who need support. It also has Little Wallet for users to pay for rides, buy airtime and pay their bills as well as gift rides to their family and friends. Create personalized promo codes for their events, schedule rides, get a corporate package for their staff, and a lot more.
Little is also available in Kampala, Uganda and is expected to launch in Nigeria and expand across West Africa in its mission to be Africa’s biggest ride hailing platform. Little sold a 10% stake for $3m in an impromptu deal with an Indian fintech firm for expansion across Africa. The firm said the cash injection adds to the previously raised $10m the company received from parent company, Craft Silicon and its other shareholders.
Locally, Little is available Nairobi, Mombasa, and Kisumu but is eyeing Nakuru and Eldoret towns. Like Vutaride, Little also has a USSD platform for hailing cabs. Little is yet to launch motorcycle services.
Taxify, a ride-sharing platform backed by China’s Didi is available in Nairobi and Mombasa Kenya as well as Kampala, Uganda, Johannesburg, Capetown, Durban, Accra, Lagos, Cairo and Abuja in Nigeria. Taxify also has a panic button. Some of its drivers have been accused of using screenshots to overcharge customers so just make sure you confirm the fares you are paying are real-time and on your app too.
Taxify takes only 15% commission from its drivers, which is far lower than the 25% that competitors take. The lower commission allows Taxify to offer both lower prices for riders and more take-home pay for drivers. Taxify operates in 20 countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Central America. It was founded in 2013 in Tallin, Estonia, where it is also headquartered. The ride-sharing platform has a global team of over 250 employees.
Taxify also runs Taxify Boda in Kenya and Kampala, Uganda. Motorcycle taxi hailing services will help users to choose between hailing either a car or a boda boda from the same app. Taxiy Boda charges a minimum fare of Khs 50 per trip, a Base fare of Ksh 30 base, Ksh 15 per KM and Ksh 3 per minute. The firm says on average a driver can take up to 100 trips a day estimated to be around Ksh 1,500 in cash daily. More than half what most Motorcycle taxi owners get after paying the drivers. Uber Since its launch in September in Sub-Saharan Africa, Uber has signed up more than 2 million active riders and 30,000 active driver-partners. South Africa has around 969 000 active riders and 12 000 active drivers while Nigeria comes in second with 267 000 active riders and 7 000 active drivers. Ghana has 140 000 active riders and 3 000 active drivers, Kenya: has 363 000 active riders and 5 000 active drivers while Uganda has 48 000 active riders and 1 000 active drivers compared to Tanzania’s 53 000 active riders and 1 000 active drivers. Uber also runs support hubs across the continent to ensure driver-partners are well-equipped. Dubbed Greenlight Hubs, drivers in Dar Es Salaam, Nairobi, Kampala, Kumasi and Lagos go there to receive technical and app support, Uber also offers information sessions and workshops to driver-partners.
Uber and Suzuki Motor Corporation recently entered into a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) to expand the fuel-efficient UberCHAPCHAP option across Sub-Saharan Africa to allow for thousands more economic opportunities for driver-partners and more choice for riders when it comes to affordable transportation options across the region.
Uber and Suzuki say this deal will increase business efficiencies and reduce operational expenses for driver-partners and allow them to jointly develop programmes for after-sales support to ensure drivers of uberCHAPCHAP vehicles (Suzuki Alto 800s) are always taken care of in terms of warranties, availability of parts and service plans. Their finance partner Stanbic Bank Kenya, has financed over 500 vehicles for uberCHAPCHAP and will continue to do so as the partnership expands. Mondo Ride
UAE’s cab hailing startup Mondo Ride launched in Kenya in 2016 and has raised $5 million in funding. Since its launch in Kenya, Mondo Ride has played at a distant number four app behind Taxify, Uber and Little, beating only Maramoja Transport which failed to meet the demand thereby losing its then loyal customers. To survive Mondo Rides banks heavily on corporate deals which are proving to be a sensible model for the cab hailing firm in the market it operates in.
On revenues, the firm claims a double-digit monthly revenue growth, interviews with drivers on major roads show Mondo Ride is not among their top three apps they use, with most of them preferring Taxify as their number one and Little as number two while Uber at number three. A good number of drivers have heard of Mondo Ride but haven’t cared to try it out because Taxify and Little have them sorted.
Mondo Ride is active in 5 major cities in Africa but it only has 5000 drivers on its platform. Little has those in Kenya alone.
Launched in 2008 as a traditional metered business focused taxi company, Pewin Cabs recently launched its own hailing services to allow just about anyone to use their cabs and not just companies. With a large fleet of cars independently owned, Pewin Cabs might just be the safest taxi hailing service in Kenya. They are also locally owned and the driver are not employees of the company-though this might change with time. Pewin mostly focuses on B2B business and local tours.