[Startup Interview] Melkisedek Ausiku, founder, LEFA, Namibia
Melkisedek Ausiku is founder of Namibia based startup cab hailing app service, LEFA. Africa Business Communities interviews him:
Please introduce your company.
LEFA is an on-demand cab hailing mobile application that connects clients to cab drivers through a mobile application system. The word “lefa” is derived from the Oshiwambo word for lift. LEFA allows clients to request a cab/shuttle with the touch of a button in the app, thereby eliminating the need to make calls to that purpose. During the initial phase existing cab owners / shuttle drivers are signed up, which gives us a business model with the least amount of risk as LEFA will not be owning any assets. Existing shuttle/cab businesses are registered with the Namibian Tourism Board as well as Roads Authority and drivers have necessary permits and documentation. In essence all necessary vetting has already been done.
Who funds LEFA and where is it located?
I founded and am the sole owner of LEFA. Location is 3 Haydn Street, Fablab, Windhoek West, Namibia.
Why did you create this app?
Namibia is one of the countries in the world with the worst road accidents statistics per capita. Unsafe roads cost the Namibian economy $80 mil annually. Consumers have limited options despite the amount of vehicles available. They are frustrated by long waiting periods, leading to many of them opting to drive themselves even when under the influence of alcohol. Many shuttle service companies don’t have the know-how, funds or capacity to market themselves. LEFA is a platform which gives consumers instant access to transport service providers. LEFA provides a safe way to move around the city in an affordable and reliable way.
How has the community received LEFA?
The launch of LEFA has certainly been met with excitement. The early technology adopters have made use of the service and have continued to do so. With little to no marketing, LEFA has been maintaining a positive growth rate of more that 50% every month since its launch in February 2018.
What are the growth plans for LEFA?
I would like to expand to Swakomund by December as well as branch to neglected markets such as Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana. These neglected markets have a combined population of more than 7 mil in their fast growing urban centers. We plan to seize the opportunities in these untapped markets.
I also am planning to double the amount of drivers within the next two months. This we do by providing the drivers with hardware and data. In two weeks, we launch a vigorous marketing campaign targeting untapped markets such as restaurants, bars and hotels.
What do you need to grow and flourish?
I need an investment of U$100,000 to take LEFA to the next level. The funds are used for marketing, procurement of hardware, two additional staff members, internet mobile data and operational expenses. I’m inviting investors to bet on LEFA and join us in transforming Namibia’s and Southern Africa’s transportation industry through technology.
Africa Business Communities is conducting a series of interviews with startup businesses in Africa.
Are you a startup in Africa and interested in an interview? Great! Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org