The On-Demand economy has been one of the most explosive in recent years, with services such as taxi hailing scaling. In the African context, these services have become widely popular as seen with the fast growth of Uber and AirBnB in Sub-Saharan markets. Locally, taxi hailing has attracted several players all seeking to change the way Kenyans move. These services include MaraMoja, a locally developed solution, which was arguably the first entrant; Uber; Mondo Ride; Teke Taxi and the yet to be launched Little Cabs. Not to be left behind the Kenya Taxi Cab Association partnered with Taxify, an Estonian firm for the launch of taxi hailing services. According to blogger Moses Kemibaro, Sendy is also set to launch boda boda and taxi hailing on July 8th.
Who is Sendy?
Sendy is a Kenyan logistics startup that uses a mobile application to connect motorcycle riders, drivers of vans and pickup trucks to customers wishing to send packages and documents. Customers are able to track the movement and location of their packages in real time using their app and web platform. Sendy was launched in September 2014 and has operations in Kisumu, Nairobi and Thika. Ideally, a user will log onto the Sendy App or web platform and ask to have a pick up or delivery done for them. After the service is completed, they receive notifications complete with the name of the rider and point of delivery. Like Uber, Sendy is an intermediary and earns a fraction of the fees charged for pickups and deliveries.
Sendy was also the first recipient of the Safaricom Spark Fund. The Safaricom Spark Venture Fund, is a $1 Million fund created with the objective of allowing techpreneurs in Kenya access financing, mentorship and resources to scale their businesses. Eligible start-ups receive amounts between $75,000 and $250,000.
The launch of the service is definitely an interesting addition for the company. Sendy already has knowledge of the local logistics market and the launch of these service is definitely a value added service for both the company and its riders. Remember, Uber launched UberEverything services – UberRush and UberFresh as a value add to ensure its drivers were busy and able to collect fares during low demand periods. This may also have informed Sendy’s thinking with the taxi and bodaboda service. However, the boda boda service is not new in the market with MaraMoja having previously launched its pilot. MaraMoja CEO told Techweez they shelved plans for their service owing to the lack of smartphones among boda boda riders while those with the devices would not keep charge for long periods of time. It will definitely be interesting to see how Sendy tackles these challenges. Mondo Ride also offers the service.
According to Moses, Sendy will charge a minimum taxi rate of Kshs. 300 for up to 3 kilometer, Kshs. 70 per kilometer beyond 3 kilometers. The boda boda service will charge Kshs. 240 for upto 7 kilometers and Kshs. 30 per kilometer beyond 7 kilometer. We shall certainly be on the look out for this services and keep you posted.