The Kenya e-taxi market is lucrative and attractive, which is why companies such as Bolt, Uber, and Little have been able to operate successfully for years.
While they have encountered their fair share of legal hurdles and compensation issues with driver partners over the years, these companies have expanded their operations beyond major cities and launched additional services to make their offerings more attractive and affordable.
In July 2022, new regulations were issued requiring e-taxi companies to reduce their commission from driver partners from 25% to 18%. While most companies complied, Uber did not initially, leading to a strike by drivers.
Uber eventually adjusted its rates to comply with the regulations, but its commission rate is still higher than Little’s 15%.
Now, a few months ago, NTSA revealed a list of licensed transport network companies in Kenya, which was effective from October 31, 2022. The licensed companies included Yego Mobility Limited, Uber, Bolt, and Little.
Now, the list has been supplemented with new taxi apps: Faras Cabs Kenya, and Hava Net Limited, which operates the Hava app.
Yego entered the Kenyan market back in November 2022, and beats Little with the lowest commission at 12 percent. Little charges 15 percent, while the rest charge 18 percent.
Last week, a new taxi-hailing app was introduced and operates on a different business model from its competitors.
Referred to as Showfa, the platform requires cab drivers and motorbike riders to pay a one-time daily or monthly subscription, as opposed to being charged a commission per trip like other platforms.
During the launch, Showfa’s Business Development Director, Dhruv Rajah, said that they conducted market research and found that drivers were paying excessive fees in commissions to foreign companies.
He added that the platform aimed to prioritize the interests of the drivers and riders, ensuring their satisfaction and offering better services to customers.
Showfa has not been approved by the NTSA to run its operations in Kenya, although that might change in the coming days.