inDriver joins Uber, Bolt, Little Cab, Mondo, Swvvl to serve Nairobi residents after launching in Tanzania and South Africa. The service launched in 2012 in Yakutsk, a small town in Russia after cab drivers hiked their fares and left people literally in the cold and thus began Independent Drivers group on social media where its inhabitants could post a request for a ride and put the price they are willing to pay, and then drivers took such orders.
inDriver is already being used by 24 million people in over 200 cities with a presence in America, Latin America, and Russia. The company recently received a $10 million series B funding led by Leta Capital VC and they moved to New York City where there are currently headquartered and began their global expansion.
inDriver’s model is different as it allows passengers to set their own fare for their chosen route. In the Real Time Deal model the company uses, nearby drivers receive notifications of ride requests and have three choices:
• accept the requested fare
• ignore the offer
• bargain for a much higher price that is aligned with the pre-approved rates by the area’s inDriver base of operation.
There’s no base fare but you’re requested to offer a fair fee and then drivers bid on your offer. Passengers are also allowed to choose offers based on categories including driver ratings, estimated time of arrival, vehicle make and model. Once an agreement is reached, the trip is confirmed.
Vetting for drivers is done online as they’re requested to upload the necessary documents and it can take up to 24hrs to be approved if they have all their documents for verification. Interviews are either done via the telephone or online support.
inDriver says that the service is suited to longer commutes, it’s a more affordable platform for passengers as they decide how much they want to pay plus drivers get the benefits too with 0% commission charged for the first 6 months and then after start paying commission fees with rates that range from 5% to 8%. Drivers can preview routes before accepting an offer and they also get the freedom to decline requested rides without the risk of being penalized.
You register through the app, set up your profile, then summon a taxi from your pick up location and choose a destination. You then offer what you’re willing to pay. Drivers respond by either accepting your offer or bargain for more. This process is private as drivers don’t get go see how much other drivers are bidding. The only thing they can see is how many drivers have sent their offers to the passenger.
You’ll, however, have to do your research on what a fair price would be from your pickup to your destination before using the inDriver app. It can be time-consuming waiting for a trip to be confirmed but relatively cheaper than rival ride-hailing apps. Passengers who’ve used the app report of paying on avaerage 20% less than other ride-hailing services.
The reason they use cash payments is so as to remain profitable and still be affordable by cutting transaction fees incurred by other methods of payments plus minimize other costs associated with middlemen.
Your rides using inDriver are safe as passengers can share their GPS locations and ride details in real time from the app with trusted contacts.