The taxi-hailing industry is gradually growing in Africa and has brought about a diverse market of competition. Tech entrepreneurs have come up with disruptive e-hailing apps in a bid to give Uber a run for its money. Although competitors may offer better quality or cheaper services, many customers may still prefer Uber or Taxify as these companies have established a stronger brand and larger driver network.
In Africa, Uber has operations in eight countries; Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Tanzania. While Taxify operates in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda. Regulators in other countries continue to shun Uber but the company continues to lead the market in Africa since its entry in 2013.
Uber and Taxify have held the top spot but there are new taxi apps that are coming up and challenging the marketplace. Here is a list of 7 African taxi-hailing services disrupting the market.
1. Tag Your Ride – South Africa
The mobile application, Tag Your Ride, was launched by Rogerant Tshibangu, a university graduate and now academic development officer at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. The app has standard pricing for the rides stipulated on their app to prevent overcharging people. It operates in Pietermaritzburg, Durban, and Harare. This app can be downloaded on Google Play and App Store.
2. Little Cabs – Kenya
Little Cab is a Kenyan ride-hailing app backed by telecoms operator Safaricom. Little Cab allows customers to pay for their ride or for others’ through Safaricom’s mobile money service, M-Pesa, buy discounted airtime during the trip and access free Wi-Fi. It allows non-smartphone users to hail a cab through a USSD system, and lets women exclusively request for female drivers from 6 pm to 6 am for safety reasons. In 2016, the company launched its services in Nigeria and Uganda.
3. Oga Taxi – Nigeria
Available on Google Play and App Store, Oga Taxi was launched in 2016. Much like Uber, Oga Taxi gives passengers three ride options namely: Standard, Deluxe, and Executive. It also gives passengers the option to pay with either cash or card. Oga Taxi operates in Lagos, Abuja, and Port-Harcourt.
4. Yookoo Rider – South Africa
Yookoo Rider is an app launched by the South African Meter Taxi Association. The application was launched in 2017. Yookoo is also available for download on IOS and Google Play. By using the latest technology, the app is designed to improve the meter taxi association by making it more accessible to consumers. The registration of cab drivers includes comprehensive driver vetting and criminal checks complete with fingerprint technology to ensure optimum security and ease of mind for customers. Comprehensive customer relations and driver training programme will follow. The application can be downloaded on Google Play Store.
5. Smart Cab – Nigeria
Smart Cab is an online cab request service provider in Nigeria. The application can be downloaded on Google Play and the Apple App Store. Smart Cab offers services like Free WiFi, Anti-Theft/Anti-Riot Security and Passenger insurance. Launched in 2017, the company is operative in Lagos, Benin, Port-Harcourt, Abuja and Ibadan.
6. Maramoja – Kenya
Kenyan based taxi-hailing app, Maramoja, uses artificial intelligence to assign the driver a trust score, arrived at from a rider’s phonebook contacts and social media friends. Maramoja has signed contracts with 24 countries throughout Africa to bring its trust-based taxi app franchise to those markets. In 2016, the company was selected to participate in this year’s Seedstars World Summit in Switzeland. They offer fixed prices and flexible payment. Soon, Maramoja is launching a feature that lets passengers report accidents, attacks or other emergencies. They accept mobile money, credit, cash, and corporate invoicing directly. The app is available on Google Play.
7. LEFA – Namibia
LEFA is an on-demand application for ride-hailing in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. Melkisedek Ausiku, the founder of the startup, has always dreamt of being an independent entrepreneur. LEFA taxi operates in Windhoek and its surroundings. It provides transfer services for Hosea Kutako International Airport. LEFA was also part of the Viva Technology 2018 conference in France.
By Fundisiwe Maseko