In July, Safaricom partnered with Craft Silicon in the launching of a taxi hailing service with the goal of unsettling Uber which has maintained a dominance in the space. The service called Little, fronted itself as a cheaper alternative for both drivers and passengers. With passengers, the company promised to only take 15% of driver earnings, unlike Uber which asks for 25% of driver earnings. The service also eliminated the base fare charges and instead charges a minimum fare of Kshs. 270 and a cost of Kshs. 55 per kilometre and Kshs. 4 per minute. Following launch, Uber slashed its prices by 35%, signalling the expected disruption.
According to Kamal Budhabhatti, CEO, Craft Silicon, the taxi hailing service is expected to launch in Uganda soon followed by a launch in Nigeria by the end of Q1 2017. Kamal spoke at a Fireside Chat at CIO 100 on Thursday evening. According to Tech Moran, Craft Silicon operates in 45 countries globally and the goal for the software company is to launch in all these countries even if Safaricom is not operating there. Kamal further said that Little now has 1500 drivers in Kenya and does between 4,000 and 5000 trips a day. On launch Little said it aimed to hit one million rides in six months an the firm says it’s on its way there.
Little has been keen to innovate which has seen it gain traction locally. For instance, the firm launched its USSD platform that allows users without smartphones to hail a cab. The service has also been keen to add new features such as the ability to view your fare live as well as free wifi on board.