Kenyas Safaricom Launches Uber Competitor

nairobi trafficSafaricom, one of Kenyas largest telecoms operators, has launched a ride-hailing app called Little Cab, developed by a local software firm, that aims to compete with international firms like Uber who are aiming to expand into African markets.

Safaricom, which is 40 per cent owned by Vodafone, and Craft Silicon, the Nairobi-based developers behind the app, will jointly run the services, which will aim to provide cheaper fares than those of its competitors, while also offering drivers a higher share of revenues.

The app is initially available on Android and Windows phones, with an iOS version in pipeline, and the company also plans to offer free wi-fi in all of its vehicles, as an additional incentive to draw in customers. Also, female customers will be able to request female drivers only as a safety measure, a feature which Uber does not offer.

Uber operates in several African countries including Kenya, where it launched in early 2015, attracting customers with low prices and the elimination of haggling over fares. However, much like in other markets, local taxi drivers have complained about its impact on business. Uber said it welcomed the competition that Little Cab represented.

“At the end of the day, competition is good,” said Nate Anderson, general manager of Uber Kenya, in a statement to Reuters regarding the launch of Little Cab.

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