[Kenya] Taxi hailing app Little set to launch mobile SACCO for its 4000 drivers
14-02-2017 09:15:00 | by: Andrea Ayemoba | hits: 3064 | Tags:

The management of Safaricom-backed taxi hailing app Little is set to launch a mobile-based Savings and Credit Co-operative Society (Sacco) for its drivers.

Little, an app created in partnership with a local financial technology company (Fintech) Craft Silicon, will cover the firm’s more than 4,000 drivers under a Sacco called Little Sacco.

Craft Silicon chief executive Kamal Budhabhatti on Wednesday said this would be the first virtual Sacco in the country.

“The Sacco is already registered. We are now figuring out when to launch it. The Sacco will be operated entirely on mobile phone, and drivers will be able to do everything on the mobile,” said Mr Budhabhatti.

The telecommunications firm and Craft Silicon launched Little in July last year.

Mr Budhabhatti said their drivers are a key pillar of the business, the reason they want to provide them with good working environment.

“Our commission structure is different from others. We give our drivers discounted fuel, free data bundles, free phones and all our drivers are agents of Safaricom, and we are trying to create more avenues for them to make more revenues,” said Mr Budhabhatti. Little Cab currently takes a 15 per cent commission off the taxi fare.

The firm charges Sh30 per kilometre and Sh4 per minute with no flat-base charge or price surges during peak hours or heavy traffic jams. Its drivers make an average of 2,500 rides daily.

In the past year, Nairobi has emerged as a battlefield for taxi hailing apps, where platforms like Uber, Mondo Ride, Little, Pewin, Maramoja, and Taxify have established themselves.

The battle for dominance has led to numerous innovations. Little Cab runs on iOS, Android, Windows devices and USSD (for non-smartphone) users. It  accepts cash, debit and credit card and Safaricom’s M-Pesa mobile money payments. It also provides live GPS enabled maps for pickups and offers free Safaricom Wi-Fi to passengers.

However, Mr Budhabhatti said as much as they want to be innovative, their competitors are making it a war of capital and not of innovation.

“It is no longer a war of innovation because the amount of capital our competitors are putting in is becoming really difficult to counter,” said Mr Budhabhatti.

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