Kenyan taxi-hailing firm, Little, which has a partnership with telecoms operator Safaricom, plans to scout for an investor in Silicon Valley next year to help it expand across Africa, its chief executive has said.
The one-year-old app has grown to challenge Uber for the top spot in the local market. Little has close to 5,000 drivers who can offer 12,000 rides a day in peak times, Kamal Budhabatti, the CEO said, adding that potentially puts them in second place after Uber.
Uber Kenya said it has 5,000 active drivers and 345,000 active users without offering the figure for daily rides.
“We want to see if we can get someone from the (Silicon) valley who can come help to scale up the company. Our aim is to become the taxi-hailing firm for the continent,” Mr Budhabhatti told Reuters.
Little’s parent company, Nairobi-based software developer Craft Silicon, has invested $6 million (Sh600 million) in the app. It plans to start operations in Nigeria in a month’s time.
“Nigeria is a big country with a good size population,” Mr Budhabatti said in his office, adding that they will then spread into other markets such as Ghana.
“We are competing with some of the bigger players. If you want to win you can’t beat them on capital, you can only beat them on innovations,” he said of the Kenyan market, which is also served by Taxify.
The features include an SOS button on the app. “We call it a panic button,” said the CEO. If a customer feels unsafe for whatever reason during their trip and they press the button, they get an escort from the police or a partner security firm within five minutes, he said.