Uber launched in Nairobi Kenya and in less than a year expanded to Mombasa. But this success wasn’t easy. The usual taxi operators in Nairobi at a certain point were angered by the app based taxi service that some Uber drivers were attacked, and their cars destroyed. But things have taken shape for Uber in Kenya (and East Africa in general). They just recently launched in Kampala.
Safaricom, which is the largest company in East and Central Africa, has partnered with Craft Silicon to launch their own Taxi service that will be called LittleCab. This will come in a few weeks time.
Bob Collymore, Safaricom CEO, announced that his company would help build the application for the service, offer network connectivity (because that’s what Safaricom does), put Wi-Fi in the cabs, and process payments, because M-Pesa.
It will be exciting to see how Uber competes with Safaricom cabs. Because, we need to face this, this is a big announcement. Safaricom have the muscle to push this to major towns in Kenya. And to do huge promotions to get people to sign up for the service. They understand Kenya, I believe, better than Uber.
Odipo Riaga, Kachwanya.com, thinks the service will flop. And on his post, he’s given the various reasons. But I’m not of the same opinion.
I think Uber is in for big competition in Kenya. Because this is Safaricom, and they get things done in the Kenyan market. One of their big successes that’s a little apart from their service as a Telco, is M-Kopa where people in rural areas can enjoy solar-powered solutions.
In a matter of weeks we’ll see how this fairs on. What do you think will happen? Will Safaricom manage it? Or with they fail?