E-taxi solutions have taken over conventional taxi business among the cities they operate in around the globe. Locally, the product was spearheaded by U.S.-based Uber, which has since created a platform for other players such as Little, Taxify, ShareCab, corporate-focused Mondo Ride, to name a few. Uber was also lucky to crack this niche, and since its inception, it is probably the only taxi hailing business that operates in most cities.
Speaking of Little, the firm, which is owned by Craft Silicon had a busy year in 2017. Having started its local operations some time in 2016, the online taxi app first goal was not to compete with the likes of Uber owing to the latter’s financial muscle and global reach. In its place was an innovative approach that is still pursued to date. In 2017, the company launched cool products such as Little Wallet that can be loaded via MPESA to offer a more appealing and easy method of paying for a ride.
At the same time, Little added driver verification using Microsoft Cognitive API using face recognition technology to enhance its security mandate. In the same line of thought, MPESA integration came in handy as it eliminated additional processes when making payments. Plans are still underway regarding an electric bus that is supposedly meant for Nairobians.
One of the firm’s critical step was a launch in Lagos Nigeria. This appeared to be a good move thanks to its local gains that have seen the company register more than 12,000 rides each day with up to 5000 Kenyan driver partners serving nearly 0.4 million locals.
These are milestones that need massive investments, and it has been announced that Little is scouting for a KES 10 billion fund to drive further expansion, particularly in continental Africa.
According to Kenyanwallstreet, the company, which issued KES 1 billion annual remittances for drivers after one year of operations, is eyeing Ghana as its next business frontier, in addition to 10 other African countries before mid-2018.
Little CEO Kamal Budhabatti has also hinted a possible inclusion of fintech services that include money transfer, loan offerings, among other similar services. This will be a new twist of events, and it will be interesting to see how the firm will separate its primary product in a market that is filled to the brim with similar businesses.