Global ride-hailing rival Taxify and Uber have launched motorcycle passenger services in East Africa. Customers of both companies in Uganda and Taxify drivers in Kenya can now order the two-wheel transit via App
The branded product UberBoda is Uber's first motorcycle service offering in Africa and the second to Asia. For Taxify it is the first two-wheeler launch in one of the company's 20 international markets.
The movements come as Africa's mototaxis ̵
Taxify & # 39; s "Boda" Button
For Taxify, the reasons for entering the market, according to Kenya's Operations Chisom Anoke, are twofold. "We noticed there was a need for this service because Boda Boda was not very well organized or regulated," he told TechCrunch of Taxify's office in Nairobi.
"The other thing was that people had to look for Boda Bodas, we want to bring the convenience we bring to regular taxis into Boda Bodas," said Anoke.
The company has switched its apps in Kenya and Uganda to a two-wheeled taxi with a "Boda" button.
Taxify also aims to bring the average Boda Boda ETAs in Nairobi to under four minutes, the current standard for its auto services.
Boda boda rates for Kenya will be 30 shillings basis then 15 shillings per kilometer (≈ $ .30 and $ .15) compared to 85 and 30 for normal car service. Taxify claims a cut of 15 percent, according to Anoke.
For safety reasons, Taxify will only hire Boda Boda taxi drivers who are licensed by Kenya's National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) and have at least three years of experience.
Taxify will require their boda boda riders to have 2015 or later motorcycles that pass a company inspection "to make sure the quality is right and our customers are safe," said Anoke.
Drivers using Taxify navigate voice prompts and headphones (from Google Maps and other services). All drivers will wear two yellow helmets and reflective jackets. Taxify is also working on a training program for pilots with Kenya's NTSA.
The fame of motorbike taxis in Uganda led Uber to launch there, according to GM Alon Lits UberBoda. "We're all about localization and Boda is moving to Kampala," he told TechCrunch on a call from Cape Town. "If we want to be part of the mobility solution in Kampala, we can not do that without having a Boda product."
The Uganda app will contain an overboard request icon. According to Lits, the UberBoda drivers must have the necessary motorcycle and taxi licenses to work with Uber. "In addition, we make sure that all drivers have two helmets and reflective jackets for their drivers," he said.
Uber expects the cost of uberBoda to be around $ 1 per fare on average. Lits estimates, "There are nearly 2 million weekly Boda Trips in Kampala." The motorcycle service from uberBoda starts with around 100 riders.
While Taxify and Uber in Africa are gathering their research from past activities, they say they want to see more deeply in motorcycle financing plans for drivers, advanced driver training, and ways to build more safety in the two-wheel-taxi markets ,
"By forcing Taxify Boda boda drivers to follow the existing rules, as no more than two passengers at a time will rub off and have the kind of positive market disruption we want to see on the Boda Boda industry," said Taxify's Anoke.
"As we get more data on drivers' driving records, this will be a proxy for credit that we want to extend to the Boda industry," Uber's Lits said. As TechCrunch reports, Uber Africa is experimenting with many things that the company does not always do globally, such as cash payments and, most recently, the moto rickshaw service in Tanzania.
Uber and Taxify are not the only companies entering the market for motorcycle bicycles in Africa. Nigeria has the startup Max.ng, which focuses more on the last mile delivery service.
And in Rwanda, where taxi moto's are heavily loaded and tightly regulated, the Startup SafeMotos has been active since 2015. The company offers its drivers and passengers to facilitate pickup spots, taximeters and fares to facilitate payments. SafeMotos also plans to expand all Boda Boda services for women and Kinshasa DRC, co-founder Barrett Nash TechCrunch recently announced in Kigali.
Rwanda also has Yego Moto, a Singapore-based motorcycle tour company. Yego Moto has 680 drivers and has logged 426,382 trips and 2.1 million kilometers on its Rwanda platform, according to a company spokesman.
To Taxify's plans to extend its Boda-Boda service to others Taxify African cities and markets, "Definitely, we plan to expand it," company spokeswoman Loreen Ajaimbo said, though she's in the business Moment would not call specific countries.
About Africa's Alon Lits said that the company would look to expand UberBoda's first in Uganda to Entebbe. He also mentioned Rwanda as a potential new market.
To determine the potential of Boda Bodas in East Africa, Taxify's Chisom Anoke referred to a recent study by the Motorcycle Assemblers Association of Kenya. The revenue of this two-wheeled taxi from 2017 amounted to $ 2.1 billion, exceeding the income of the largest telecommunications company in Kenya, Safaricom.
Of course, the disruption of this market could not be welcomed by everyone. The acquisitions of Uber and Taxify into the four-wheeled taxi cabins of Africa have led to protests from traditional drivers in recent years. Time will tell how Kenya and Uganda's non-digital Boda Boda drivers are responding to their new Ride Hail competition.