The e-taxi industry in Kenya has been growing because of its lucrative nature, enabling successful operations by firms like Bolt, Uber, and Little for an extended period now. However, these companies have faced legal obstacles and payment conflicts with their drivers but have extended their services to other regions and introduced new features to enhance their appeal and affordability.
In July 2022, fresh rules were introduced mandating a reduction in the commission rate charged by e-taxi firms to their drivers, from 25% to 18%.
Little had modified its pricing structure, switching from a 15% commission to a fixed fee of 18%. On the other hand, Uber and Bolt also agreed to a commission rate of 18%, but they discreetly added a booking fee component to their pricing, which did not exist before. As a result, they are still receiving more than 23% of the total fare charged.
Licensed e-cab companies
Some time back, the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) published a register of authorized ride-hailing firms in Kenya, effective from October 31, 2022. The approved companies on the list were Uber, Bolt, Little, and Yego Mobility Limited.
However, the list was expanded to include two new taxi applications: Faras Cabs Kenya, and Hava Net Limited, which manages the Hava app.
In another announcement that we have since seen, NTSA has increased the number of licensed e-taxi apps to 14.
Here is the full list of these services:
- Farasi Cabs
- Hava Net
- An Nisa Taxi
- H Cab
- PTG Limited
- TMNX Enterprises Limited
- Amicabre Travel
- Maramoja Transport
- Move On Telecoms Limited
- J-RIDE Limited
It is possible that more taxi apps will be added in the coming days because some of them, such as the recently launched Showfa are missing from the list.
Taxi apps, similar to payment services or online loan products, have a tendency to perform well in the Kenyan market. This is why such services are frequently introduced in Kenya, and a large portion of the local startup ecosystem is focused on products that Kenyans can relate to or that generate quick profits for them.