Image Source: HerRyde

Last Friday, HerRyde, a woman-only ride-hailing company, launched in Abuja. According to the company’s co-founders (CEO Monsurah Oluwafuyi, COO Muhammad Muazu, and Chief Product Officer Kamaldeen Ibrahim), the company is providing a safer option for female drivers and riders while creating work opportunities for more women. 

In an exclusive statement made to TechCabal, they said, “HerRyde is committed to women’s safety and inclusion in the ride-hailing/mobility space. We aim to provide women with safer taxi experiences while driving inclusion by providing a safe space for women to work and earn as mobility entrepreneurs.”

When asked about the reason behind starting a company that will only serve women, they said the company’s idea came from their collective desire to change the reality that too many women get harassed and abused on ride-hailing trips. For example, Muzau’s aunt had an encounter with a driver who told her: “If you were my wife, I would have beaten you for keeping me waiting.” Social media platforms are often rife with tales of physical assault, sexual assault, and robbery suffered by women while on rides.

TechCabal also asked Abuja women how they felt about finally having a women-only cab-hailing service. One of them, Boluwatito Sanusi, a publishing assistant based in Abuja, explained that she often feels unsafe in cabs. Every time she’s on a trip, she makes sure to sit behind the driver and to share her location with someone else. A women-only platform like HerRyde sounds like a good idea to her.

HerRyde’s Chief Product Officer, Kamaldeen Ibrahim, told TechCabal on a call that the company chose to launch in Abuja because of Abuja’s lower barrier to entry compared to Lagos, which demands numerous licences from drivers and ride-hailing apps. 

Ibrahim’s experience building the ORide product as a former product manager at Opay was invaluable in the development of HerRyde. Joined with this expertise is Oluwafuyi’s background in marketing, management consulting, and HR and Muazu’s background in risk, compliance, and data science.

In a 2019 study on women-only ride-hailing platforms, researchers from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and Hong Kong Polytechnic discovered that because there is a smaller pool of drivers available, these services are typically more expensive and of lower quality.

In response to these potential challenges of cost and quality, the three co-founders said that the company will determine fares the same way Uber and Bolt do, based on time and distance, instead of using InDriver’s approach, a ride-hailing platform that allows users to negotiate their final fare. 

While testing out their product on Tuesday and comparing it to Uber, TechCabal found that a ride from Asokoro General Hospital to Gwagalada Central Mosque was estimated at N5,028 compared to Uber’s N6,050. 

*Editor’s note: ​​We put out a version of this article yesterday, but there were errors which have now been corrected. 

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