I really wish I was joking, but I’m not. At this point, you cannot tell me there isn’t a new ride-hailing platform launching in East Africa every week. This one is called Fone Taxi, and word on the street is that it has launched in Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya to take on Uber, Little, Taxi Chap Chap, and the many others.
According to their website, “Fone Taxi as a new Start-Up with improved functions is presently rolling out in Nairobi, Kenya. However, we are looking forward to making our service available initially in several more African countries like, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Burundi and many others shortly. We are also planning to start outside Africa very soon.“
It was founded by Christian Niyonkuru in Rwanda this year, and launched in Kenya just a week agoooo (week ago). In that time, the Kenyan franchise owner, Dennis Tongoi, says they’ve signed up 120 drivers. Not bad. At all.
He continued, “Fone Taxi aims to give all the drivers a level playing ground to compete as long as they are good on the road. Other apps look at the condition of the car, we emphasis on the condition of the driver. A driver can log in and off the system anytime and can choose to select their work hours and efforts in any manner that best meets their goals and circumstances.”
Here’s what I found most interesting thing about them. First, is the fact that they offer a wide variety of vehicles on their platform – from motorbikes to auto rickshaws (what we call Keke), to standard cars, to SUVs to VIP cars. Second, is that they will only work with legacy (read: registered) taxi drivers. That will help them avoid some of the regulatory issues Uber has run into in many of the countries they’ve moved into.