SA Taxi-owned Zebra Cabs has raised just over $21.6 million from Futuregrowth Asset Management to expand their owner-driver scheme in Johannesburg, and to take on Uber and Taxify. Their big hairy audacious goal is to have 3 000 cabs on the road by 2020.
This development has got us wondering how many players Africa’s ride-sharing market can sustain. There must be easier ways to make a buck, but it seems the prospect of carving out a chunk of what is potentially a multi-billion dollar industry is clearly too much to pass up for VC’s like Futuregrowth. The FOMO is real!
It’s going to be interesting to see how quickly Zebra Cabs burns through their newly-found cash. Will they withstand the fierce price war that’s almost guaranteed to ensue? How long will their financiers be willing to wait before they turn a profit? And will more funds be forthcoming when Zebra Cabs needs to extend their runway further down the line? Only time will tell.
Editor’s Note: African Tech Roundup is a weekly podcast, hosted by Andile Masuku, that covers technology, digital and innovation highlights from across Africa and beyond. This episode first appeared on africantechroundup.com.