Uber launched in Nairobi Kenya in early 2015. Less than a year after this, the company expanded its service into the beautiful city of Mombasa. As usual, Uber faced some opposition in its early days of operation from regular cabs in Nairobi who were displeased with the advent of a service as sophisticated as Uber. Taxi operators expressed their displeasure by attacking Uber and drivers and destroying their vehicles. However, things shaped up as the service became more popular among Kenyans.
Details About the New Competition – Little Cabs
The new kid on the block offering ridesharing – Safaricom, is the largest company in East and Central Africa. Forty percent of the firm is owned and controlled by Vodafone. The company has decided to partner with Craft Silicon – both working tirelessly to build a brand of ridesharing. The service – Little Cabs now just “Little”, launched in June 2016. Bob Collymore who is the CEO at Safaricom, announced that the primary responsibility of the company would be to help develop and design the mobile application which would be the base of operation for the new service. In addition to that, Safaricom would offer network connectivity to users by planting Wi-Fi Adapters in the cabs.
In addition to the cash and debit card payment options for using this service, Little cabs will also process payments using M-Pesa, Kenya’s top mobile-phone based financial service. M-Pesa is the favoured mobile money service developed by Safaricom with 70% market share out of 14.2 million active mobile money users in Kenya.
In 2015, just 34.7% of Kenyans had credit cards, the majority – 58.4%, used mobile money accounts.
Pricing (Drivers and Riders)
Little cabs will take no more than 15% off driver earnings unlike Uber’s 25%. The company is also offering 0 Kenyan schillings as base fare and 55 Kenyan schillings per kilometre. This is slightly lower than Uber’s 60 Kenyan schillings per kilometre fare.
What This May Mean
Considering that Safaricom, as a communication firm, has been operating in this market before Uber, it seems necessary that the company will take advantage of the resources at its disposal.
Understanding how this pans out would definitely require a lot of follow-ups and we would make sure to bring you more details as they become available.
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