Going live this month, SasaCabs is a platform that wants to put customers in touch with taxis, giving the customer the cheapest, fastest and most reliable taxis available.
Originally founded by London-based software developer Daniel Nordberg and Sebastian Wichmann, a corporate lawyer. Sasa Cabs is a Kenyan owned company whose operations are run by Alex van Wageningen and a team of dedicated professionals.
Nordberg told TechMoran, “Our own personal experience of being overly dependent on a limited number of ‘personal’ taxi drivers, or alternatively being subject to exploitative pricing of some taxi cab companies — especially at peak times, odd hours of the night and holidays.
By signing up as many independent taxi drivers to our service and having reliable 24 hour coverage across Nairobi, and by operating an auction system where the cheapest and fastest taxi is sent to the customer, we make our lives and the lives of our customers easier (and cheaper!)”
Sasacabs users will be able to use traditional booking channels such as our telephone dispatcher on 0702 247 247, as well as the firm’s website and their apps (Android, Windows and iPhone) which it will launch shortly.
The platform works simply.
After placing an order for a taxi, a dispatch request is sent to all taxis registered closest to the pick-up location. The taxis respond with their quote including price and ETA, the fastest and cheapest of which is then sent back to the customer. This includes the name of the driver, his telephone number and car registration number, all of which we hope will contribute to a safer and more pleasant customer experience.
Nordberg told TechMoran that drivers have the opportunity to increase their sales through a service which is free to sign up to, and having met these new customers there is no restriction on them pursuing repeat business outside of the Sasa Cabs system. Also, having signed up to Sasa cabs system where their personal information is recorded, they will benefit from the sense of safety and confidence the service gives the customer. They are calling drivers to sign up on their website www.sasacabs.com or call our Sales Manager on 0728 155 681 for free.
Sasa Cabs is not of anyone who wants to launch in the market.”Zapacab came and went. Any company that’s going to be successful has to have a strong operational team on the ground,”Nordberg says. “Uber and Easy will invest heavily in this aspect, as they have demonstrated in the past, but our products are sufficiently different and not necessarily competing in the same market segments, especially as we expand into different vehicle classes.”
“We understand a couple of other local companies are trying to develop similar systems but we haven’t yet seen any of their products,” Nordberg added, speaking of traditional taxi companies which are trying out apps to be part of Kenya’s taxi hailing revolution.
SasaCabs now works with independent taxi drivers and taxi companies alike and their service is free to sign up to, and as long as their pricing is flexible enough to make competitive bids on the dispatch requests the system works for small and big players alike. The firm has a team of 7 full-time and 3 part-time employees so far and aims to be the go-to product for booking cheap reliable taxis and other types of vehicle in the wider East African region.
SasaCabs primary focus is rolling successfully in Nairobi in two to four weeks time and then every major urban center in Kenya and the East African region. Wondering how SasaCabs makes it money, for every successfully completed dispatch request it takes a commission which the driver remits to them via MPESA.
The Kenyan transport market seems to be a billion dollar industry, the government is pushing stiffer laws to have cashless payments in all public service vehicles, while Google and MasterCard are both partnering with local players to have a share of it. On the taxi line, Uber, Easy Taxi are launching soon to join the seemingly silent Pata cabs. Traditional cab companies are also re-inventing the wheel by launching mobile applications for Kenya’s growing middle class consumers.