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Uber competitor available through USSD

By , ITWeb
Kenya , 25 Aug 2016

Uber competitor available through USSD

Craft Silicon has announced that its taxi hailing service Little Cab, powered by Safaricom, can now be accessed through USSD making it available to non-smartphone users.

In July mobile operator Safaricom and software solutions provider Craft Silicon launched Little Cab and said described the app as "the most affordable on the market" based on a minimum fare of Ksh270 (US$2.67) and a cost of KSh55 (US$0.54) per km.

Safaricom will assist in developing the application and provide the network connectivity, with CEO Bob Collymore adding drivers will pay a smaller commission per ride than with Uber, and will get their money earlier.

Through the USSD taxi hailing option, customers will now be able to request for a ride by dialing *826# from their mobile phone.

According to Craft Silicon CEO Kamal Budhabhatti, the introduction of USSD will radically change the taxi hailing business by bringing on board millions of Kenyans who were previously locked out due to the fact that they do not own a smartphone. "The idea behind Little powered by Safaricom is to provide affordable and convenient cab services to as many Kenyans as possible and I believe we are well on our way to achieving this through the launch of the USSD service."

The Little app itself has so far been downloaded more than 23,500 times on IOS, Windows and Android stores, with over 1,400 drivers signed up, according to its operators.

Budhabhatti added, "We are also committed to our drivers' welfare. Since our launch, Little takes no more than 15% off drivers' earnings compared to other players in the market who take between 18% to 25%."

Little Cab has also introduced a lady friendly category, Lady Bug, with professional lady drivers to ensure women's safety on the road. "The app also features a corporate option though which businesses can offer service as a convenient corporate taxi option for their employees. A corporate dashboard will enable businesses track and manage employee rides down to department level, while users can easily switch between personal and corporate rides on the app," reads a statement from the company.

Other features of the App include: Real-Time Driver information, Live GPS enabled maps and ability for customers to give feedback.

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