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'Little' taxi app looks to make big profits
September 24, 2017, 12:10 pm

A Kenyan app designed as a platform for call taxis has grown to a network of 2,000 drivers, offering around 10,000 rides a day. The native app is challenging global outfits such as Uber, which has over 5,000 active drivers in Kenya The service has seen increased popularity as it is cheaper than other taxis per kilometer and offers free Wi-fi in all cabs. It is also becoming the preferred ride for many women passengers, as they can specifically request a woman driver. The app also has an SOS tab, which the passenger can click on if they feel unsafe for whatever reason during their trip.

The button triggers an escort from the police or a partner security firm within five minutes and is something that is becoming increasingly popular with customers. Little’s parent company, Nairobi-based software developer Craft Silicon, which has invested $6 million in the app has also partnered with Kenyan telecoms operator Safaricom. The partnership with the mobile operator allows Little to offer an inbuilt electronic wallet for passenger payments, which works in conjunction with Safaricom’s M-pesa money transfer platform.

The company is planning to scout for an investor in Silicon Valley next year to help it expand across Africa. It is already in the ground in Nigeria where it plans to start services in a month’s time. The company is also introducing an electric bus service in Nairobi, which will allow users to book their commute using the ‘Little’ application on their mobile phones. “I think traffic and pollution are big problems in the city, so we feel that in whatever small way we can contribute to making it better is a good thing.

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