It looks like Nairobi's commuting public will have yet another option when it comes to cab travel. Taxify, an Estonian taxi-hailing app, has announced a partnership with the Kenya Taxi Cab Association (KTCA), which will see 400 drivers registered with KTCA use the app to get passengers.
It seems that KTCA has learned from Uber's model and is using this partnership to catch up with the competition, having previously sought to block them from operating in Nairobi. KTCA claimed that Uber drivers had an unfair advantage because they did not have to pay license fees or taxes, and they sought Government intervention to stop the Silicon valley-based company from continuing operations.
Taxify is also available in Johannesburg and Cape Town in South Africa.
The Estonian app is one of the taxi apps aiming to help traditional taxi firms and drivers fight back against Uber and its ilk market aggression. It does this by providing iOS, Android and web platforms that let you order for taxi services online just like Uber and the likes.
Taxify’s entrance into the Kenyan market sets fresh another round of taxi price wars in the ever growing e-taxi business with its lower passenger tariffs as compared to Uber, Mondo Ride and Little Cabs.
The app will seek to work with only fleets and existing taxi companies as opposed to working with independent cabbies, arguing that such drivers would offer a better customer experience to clients.
“There was a great deal of interest coming from the Kenyan market. There is a large population of local taxi drivers who yearn to expand their services with technology” said Martin Villig, co-founder of Taxify, in a recent interview.
Taxify unveiled two price structures, The Economy Tariff, a flat fee regardless of time taken in journey, and The Standard Tariff, which is levied per minute.
The app set up in 2013 and operational in 11 countries seeks to expand its ventures into Kenya’s major cities with Mombasa, Nakuru and Kisumu in the next one year and recruit about 7.000 drivers from licensed taxi associations.
With Safaricom backed Little Cabs launching next week, one can only sit back and watch how the e-taxi business pans out in Africa’s fastest growing tech innovation hub.