Uber is not worried about new competition cropping up in its markets, and not certainly in Africa or Kenya according to its Africa spokesperson.
“We do not focus on competitors but rather spend our time thinking about how we can better the experience for riders and driver-partners,” Samantha Allenberg, Uber Communications Head for Africa told TechMoran. “However, Uber loves choice as it creates competition and a better experience for the consumers.”
Safaricom, East Africa’s largest telco by numbers and revenues and the biggest company in the region told Reuters June 9th that it is launching Little Cabs, an Uber-competitor in line with the firm’s plans to add revenue streams away from M-PESA, voice, SMS and data.
“It is effectively a rival for Uber. It is a local competitor which will be cheaper and better for the local community,” Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore told Reuters in an interview.
Collymore said the telco is working with Craft Silicon, a local software firm to develop the application, integrate M-PESA payments as well have Wi-Fi on-board the cabs.
According to people familiar with deal, Little Cabs has taken over the entire Easy Taxi team of driver partners and some of the company’s staff after Rocket Internet pulled the plug on Asia, Africa to focus on Latin America where Easy Taxi was founded.
Uber’s major focus now is driver and user safety and not the competition, Allenberg told TechMoran.
“Uber is deeply committed to safety, allowing the rider to receive the driver’s photo, name, car registration while they watch the car arrive in real time,” said Allenberg. “Riders have access to a live GPS-enabled map that they can share with friends and loved ones who can track their progress, ensuring they arrive safely. At the end of all Uber trips, both the both the rider and driver rate the trip to ensure quality control.”