Taxify is winning Lagos. For now.

I once scoffed at a poorly-researched suggestion that Taxify might be beating Uber in Lagos. I was wrong. This is the current state of things.

If you are waiting for the part where I identify and dissect the issues one by one, and then tenuously link the whole thing to the company’s ongoing global management clusterfuck, sorry, not today. The problems are well documented on Nigerian Twitter.

I do have a simple theory about Uber’s Lagos problems though. I think they happened because its previous MD was too successful. Ebi Atawodi was moved to Amsterdam to join the global payments team, I’m guessing because of how she handled the electronic payments shit show that happened after Nigerian banks began to react to the Naira’s decline. She got a well-deserved promotion. Unfortunately, Uber Lagos was not quite the same when she left. It became a zombie, and I frankly don’t know why I haven’t deleted the app yet, because today, the only guarantee you get from requesting an Uber in Lagos is disappointment. Sad.

Taxify works, but it isn’t great. It’s certainly not the revelation that Uber was in the first two years of operating in Lagos. In fact it was initially the butt of many jokes because of how unruly the drivers used to be. These days, the drivers are much calmer, and Taxify is actively profiting off Uber’s decline. Taxify didn’t get a lot better. Uber Lagos basically scored an own goal.

Yesterday, I sent a Taxify to deliver a package for me. The second driver I tried arrived in front of my house within five minutes of my request, without asking for directions (the first was disqualified because the assignment required knowledge of maps). They made the delivery without incident. Taxify is winning. For now.