This announcement was made by the CEO of Craft Silicon, Kamal Budhabhatti, who said, “We are now only operating in Kenya but we are launching in Uganda soon. Safaricom is a good partner but they may not be in every market but we have to figure out how to grow the business to other markets. Craft Silicon operates in 45 countries globally and we are going to launch in all these countries even if Safaricom is not there. We are launching in Nigeria in the first quarter of 2017.”
Little launched earlier this year, and then they had to change their name from Little Cabs when someone forgot to register the trademark. That notwithstanding, their entrance to the Kenyan ride-hailing market saw the competition reacting with Maramoja Transport slashing fares, and Uber following suit not long after.
So far, Little has become one of the popular ridesharing apps in Kenya, and have introduced several interesting features. One of such is the Lady Bug ride category with female drivers to help women feel safer on trips. Little also added another feature that allows its users who are not connected to the internet to hail rides using a USSD code. The app also allows users to make payments with M-pesa, with its drivers doubling as M-Pesa agents. This makes me wonder if M-pesa will make a Nigerian entrance too.
Uber, arguably Nigeria’s most popular ride hailing app, could also do with stiffer competition in the Nigerian market. Little’s entrance into the Nigerian ride-hailing market couldn’t be more exciting for me as a consumer, as it could bring about a noticeable drop in fares.