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Kenya: Uber competitor looks to move on market share

Kenya: Uber competitor looks to move on market share

Mobile operator Safaricom and software solutions provider Craft Silicon have launched a Kenyan taxi hailing solution called Little Cab. The owners claim that the app is the most affordable on the market based on a minimum fare of Ksh270 (USD2.67) and a cost of KSh55 (USD0.54) per km.

Safaricom has confirmed it will provide a free Wi-Fi service in every vehicle. Bob Collymore, CEO of Safaricom, emphasised the benefit of taking on a partner for a launch of the transport service.

"Our partnership with Craft Silicon is a demonstration of benefits of businesses coming together to address challenges facing our customers. We believe that Little Cab will provide better passenger experiences by connecting them with more reliable, cost effective options," he said.

Little Cab users will also be able to opt for a 'Ride Later' option that allows them to schedule their trips to avoid inconvenience. The App's payment options include cash, cards and LIPA NA M-PESA which drivers can facilitate using their Paybill numbers. Users will also be able to redeem Safaricom Bonga Points for free rides in the coming weeks.

Kamal Budhabhatti, CEO of Craft Silicon, said, "Little Cab aims to achieve one million rides in the next six months by entrenching and differentiating ourselves as a homegrown taxi app. We are confident that we will deliver distinctive experiences for our customers. We are also keen on empowering our drivers economically by offering them more returns on investment through value ads such as free data and phones and favorable rates. Little Cab will take no more than 15% off driver's earnings, compared to other players in the market; Uber's 25%, Mdundo's 22%, and Dandia's 18%,"

Little Cab has a female friendly category named Lady Bug for cabs driven by professional lady drivers to ensure women's safety on the road. The service, which currently has 40 drivers, will be available to all customers from 6:00 am until 6:00pm, after which only female riders will be allowed to make a request.

Additional service categories, including Comfort Bug, Basic Bug and Corporate Bug, have been included with variations in pricing.

The app is only available on Android and Windows phones with an iOS version as well as access through USS scheduled for release once the service is up and running.

Other features of the app include on the app are Real-Time Driver information, Live GPS enabled maps and ability for riders to give feedback.

According to the app developers the service has 700 cabs operating and the target is 2000 in the coming weeks. "The transport industry is regulated by various stakeholders including the National government and the County Government. All Little Cab drivers and cabs already meet all the regulations set in place by the relevant regulatory bodies," the companies have stated.

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