On-demand taxi service Uber is set to launch in Abuja and Lagos Nigeria and Cairo Egypt to revolutionize the way the city moves by connecting riders to drivers via a smartphone app. The on-demand car requests (Benzes, town cars from the touch of your phone aims to be Everyone’s Private Driver all over the world.
With the touch of a button from your phone, a user can experience their own private driver without ever worrying about payment as Uber is billed directly to the users credit card on file.
The on-demand car service is hiring a Community Manager, a General Manager and an Operations & Logistics Manager for Lagos and Abuja and Cairo in a move to make the cities more accessible, opening up more possibilities for riders and more business for drivers. Uber is also hiring for Egypt and Durban where it launched late last year.
Founded in 2009, Uber is now in over 115 cities across the world and is rapidly pushing its global presence to connect more drivers to people in their cities. Uber is already live in South Africa and has been hiring for a planned Nairobi launch.
Just last week, Uber Technologies Inc. was reported to be in talks to raise $1 billion in new financing in a round that may value it at more than $10 billion to join the ranks of Airbnb Inc. and Dropbox Inc. The firm will use the new financing to boost growth and its operations.
Uber has raised $307.5 million since 2009 from First Round Capital, Benchmark Capital, TPG Capital, Menlo Ventures and Google Ventures and wants to revolutionize transportation and logistics in urban centers around the world, with Africa on its menu. With its high-end service for limousines and luxury cars and lower-priced options and a recent courier service to its line, Uber will take on Rocket Internet-backed EasyTaxi in Abuja, Lagos , Cairo and Nairobi, and a proliferation of several other taxi haling apps on the continent. Being a $10 billion worth competition doesnt mean others will close shop as markets are so fragmented and several players complement each other than replace.
EasyTaxi’s Bankole Cardoso earlier exclusively told TechMoran, “Uber will provide stiff competition but it will only force us to continue innovating and hopefully to provide an even better service for our users.There is a clear difference between Easy Taxi and Uber because Uber is a luxury service whereas Easy Taxi is trying to create efficiencies in the already existing taxi network in Nigeria.”
Just like Uber, Easy Taxi is also a global company, with operations in over 30 countries and backed by a rockstar internet builder. The firm’s power is in its long-term aim to make taxis more affordable for all Nigerians and to build a more vibrant taxi culture Cardoso said. EasyTaxi has also met numerous competitors in all of their markets and they co-exist. Another competition to Uber in Nigeria will be Tranzit plus several others that are springing up. In Egypt, Uber will compete and co-exist with EasyTaxi, Nile Taxi, and Tawseela, Pie Ride and Dubai’s Careem. for commuters; passengers share rides as if they were sharing a pie. The startup is operating with the impossible-sounding slogan, “Start enjoying Cairo’s traffic.”
Uber’s major challenges may not be the competitors but the regulatory issues around the safety of its passengers, the hurdles with other taxi drivers groups and maybe its own no-nonsense CEO or the money in the bank.