Ethiopian taxi hailing app Taxiye enters Kenyan market
Ethiopian taxi hailing startup, Taxiye has entered the Kenyan market, seeking a slice of the pie in the highly competitive industry.
The firms’ Chief Executive Officer Eve Maina said they will Invest Ksh.2 billion in the business by enlisting “boda boda” riders and taxi drivers and providing them with motor cycles and vehicles through a lease to own business model.
“We are partnering with the operators in a bid to give them the opportunity to participate in the company’s decision making process by supplying them with motorbikes and cars on a lease to own model at competitive rates,” said Maina, adding that for as low as Ksh.250 daily, “boda boda” operators will be able to own their own motorbikes and a smart phone for their operations.
Payment period for “boda boda” riders will range between three to 18 months, while that of drivers has been pegged at 3 years.
The company will partner with the Boda boda Association of Kenya (BAK) and plans to supply the association members with 300,000 motorbikes in the next 5 years.
BAK chairman Kevin Mobadi said the partnership will create additional employment opportunities to the over 1.2 million people the sector currently supports.
“The industry is currently the biggest single employer in the country, with over 1.2 million youths employed. This is because some do share one motorbike for them to earn a living hence raising the numbers in event reducing the burden and pressure on the government by absorbing youths without any source of income and seeking employment,” said Mobadi.
The launch event was held in Karen on Wednesday and officiated by the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru, who said the move is a huge welcome and affirms Kenya is still a big player in digital transformation in Africa.
“We welcome more digital investments in the country, as we continue to take the lead in Africa in digital transformation. As we have always said, the future is digital. and we are here to support and facilitate digital investments for both local and international investors,” Mucheru added.
The entry of Taxiye in the Kenyan market comes against a background of reforms initiated by the government last year to streamline the sector whose contribution especially to youth employment has been growing exponentially.
Current statistics by the industry regulator, the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) indicates that there are 1.6 million boda boda riders in Kenya and 1.2 million motorbikes. The sector has emerged as one of the biggest drivers of the economy, generating Sh219 billion in revenue in 2018.
“The partnership with taxiye is part of our mandate to see the sector improve services and enable riders be disciplined, reliable and well trained to offer the best service. As National C., I will do my best to support the sector to grow and become better each day. We thank Taxiye for this noble support they have brought to the sector,” he added.