Kenyan Taxi-Hailing Firm Launches Operations In Zambia

Written by Peter Pedroncelli

Kenyan taxi-hailing app, Little Cab, has officially launched in Zambia with services now available to users in the capital, Lusaka.

Kenyan tech firm Craft Silicon’s on-demand ride service, which is backed by leading East African mobile operator Safaricom, is now available in Lusaka, according to Techmoran.

The company launched in Uganda in May, with expansion plans after the Zambian launch set to include Tanzania.

Users request a ride via a dedicated app, and drivers pick them up before taking them to their final destination.

The company provides ride-hailing services that rival global competitors Uber and Taxify in Kenya and Uganda.

In late 2017 Little Cab had signed up more than 1,600 drivers in Kenya, outnumbering Uber’s 1,000 or so drivers at the time, according to PulseLive.

In June Little Cab sold 10 percent of its shares to an unnamed Indian fintech investor for $3 million in order to raise funds their its continued expansion, according to Standardmedia.

taxi-hailing
Kenyan taxi-hailing service Little Cab has expanded operations to Zambia. Photo – AP – Sayyid Azim

Known for its reliance on innovation to compete with the likes of Uber’s deep pockets, Little Cab offers users an innovative feature that uses Microsoft cognitive API to provide facial recognition technology.

Drivers take selfies to log in and the company using its database to verify the driver’s credentials, ensuring the safety of passengers, according to DiscoverLagosCity.

Local riding-hailing firms expand, Uber steps back

Local ride-hailing competitor in the Kenyan market, Mondo Ride, has been on a mission to expand beyond its current markets in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, according to ITWebAfrica.

The company added new cities in its home market, now operating in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu in Kenya, Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Uganda’s capital Kampala, focusing on the East African market as part of their growth strategy.

In January Mondo Ride announced that they had raised a second financing round of $2 million for expansion, bringing the total investment to $5 million, according to Ventureburn.

The investment was raised from investors in Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

While local players Little Cab and Mondo Ride continue to expand, U.S.-based competitor Uber made the decision to step away from one of its established markets earlier this year.

In March Uber decided to suspend its operations in Morocco, where it had been serving customers in Casablanca and Rabat over the last three years, due to a lack of clarity with regards to the regulatory environment in the country, according to ITWebAfrica.

The company used the term suspended as a means of communicating their willingness to return to the market should things change in their favor in future.

The decision left 300 partner drivers in Morocco without the ability to make money from the service, while around 19,000 Uber users in the country were no longer able to hail cabs from the company, according to Techcrunch.

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