Russian Ride-Hailing Startup Expands In Africa, Allows Passengers To Bargain With Drivers

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli
Russian ride-hailing
New York-based Russian ride-hailing app InDriver, now available in multiple African countries, gives users the opportunity to bargain with their drivers over fare prices. Photo by Urban Sanden on Unsplash

A Russian ride-hailing startup that is based in New York has launched in its fourth African market.

InDriver, a global ride-hailing firm that operates in Kenya, South Africa, and Tanzania has now begun operations in Kampala, Uganda, according to Techcrunch.

The Russian company moved its headquarters to New York from Siberia,
launching in December 2018 ahead of global expansion plans.

The move to New York coincided with InDriver’s push into Latin America, the U.S., and Canada.

The Russian company entered Tanzania in 2018 and launched its app-based services in South Africa and Kenya in 2019.

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InDriver’s mobile app allows passengers to bargain with their drivers, naming their own fare, Nearby drivers can accept, decline or counter the offers.

Founded in 2012, the startup now operates in 200 cities and has a user base of more than 26 million people, IntelligentTransport reports.

By comparison, U.S. ride-hailing giantUber has around 75 million users in more than 855 cities globally.

InDriver has raised $15 million in two rounds from Moscow-based venture capital fund Leta Capital, according to Crunchbase.

Russian ride-hailing firm incentivizing African drivers

The ride-hailing firm charges a percentage of each ride but does not take a commission from drivers in Africa for the first six months.

InDriver said it does this to incentivize and build its base of drivers in each new African market. After six months, it charges 5-to-8 percent commission, according to Quartz.

The Russian ride-hailing firm expects to launch in Harare, Zimbabwe, in August, TechinAfrica reports.