Uber drivers in Nairobi went on strike to protest the company’s July fare cuts. The transfer comes amidst greater competition in Kenya’s journey-hail market for the reason that local telecoms company Safaricom entered with its personal Little Cab app.
Partnering with Kenya’s Craft Silicon, Safaricom launched the brand new service to aggressively tackle Uber—straight away offering cheaper pricing and higher driver terms, as coated on this recent TechCrunch function.
in addition to lower fares, Little Cab debuted with a range of distinctive products and services, starting with free Wi-Fi in its taxis accessed thru an interface that provides other Safaricom products. Little Cab additionally has a “female friendly” option called lady malicious program, where women can request female drivers, and a company option for corporations to consolidate all their taxi services digitally via one account.
are expecting a tit for tat exchange round worth and product offerings between Uber, Little Cab, and Kenya’s different practicable trip-booking services and products. the first transfer was once Uber’s 35 p.c value reduction (publish Little Cab launch), which caused some Uber drivers to strike. Uber Kenya will probably discover a decision. AsTechCrunch in the past mentioned, Uber Africa has verified notable flexibility in adapting to native markets.
What happens in Kenya’s experience-hail market could have ripples throughout Africa’s fairly nascent on-line transit products and services market. one of the most continent’s most known (and capitalized) telecom companies, Safaricom, has put up a homegrown app in opposition to Uber, the arena’s best possible valued startup. mobile corporations and online transit startups in different African nations will undoubtedly watch for tips about how this performs out.
in the meantime, Orange has persisted to up its Pan-African profile.
all over 2016, the French cellular large has increased its product presence, investments, and acquisitions across the continent. At Orange’s July 28 London technique assembly middle East and Africa CEO Bruno Mettling reaffirmed the company’s dedication to “enjoying an immense role in the digital transformation of the area.”
Mettling announced the launch this September of the Orange fifty one 4G smartphone in partnership with Google. put as an reasonably priced Android tool, this is an upgrade to the Orange rise 31, which launched in 9 Sub-Saharan Africa international locations in February 2016. the upward thrust fifty one device will first be to be had in Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire prior to rolling out to other markets later this year, verified Orange spokesperson Vanessa Clarke. Such product initiatives drive one of the continent’s most vital IT market developments: the conversion of Africa’s massive and growing mobile plenty (at present about 500 million) to sensible devices.
Orange’s upward thrust 31 and fifty one smartphones also augment the corporate’s Africa fintech services and products. Orange cash, a cash transfer and funds carrier with a cell choice, operates in 12 African international locations.
similar to Safaricom (see M-Kopa), Orange will even use its cell network to enter the energy sector. It plans to pilot low profits solar energy kits in rural areas in Ivory Coast, Senegal, and Cameroon in 2016.
On the Africa funding front, Orange’s most striking 2016 transfer so far was taking an $ 85 million stake in Jumia crew in a spherical (including Goldman, AXA et al.) that catapulted the e-commerce startup to unicorn standing. Orange multiplied its Africa presence from 16 to 19 international locations with 2016 acquisitions of cellular operators in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Burkina Faso. And investment arm Orange Digital Ventures (with enter from its Silicon Valley office) joined the recent $ 8.5 million collection A equity spherical in PayJoy, a California based smartphone financing startup with an Africa and emerging markets focal point.
All in all, this is a reasonably large dedication with the aid of Orange and could signify phase II of Africa’s mobile telecoms markets. segment I, which minted one of the vital continent’s first IT billionaires (i.e., Mo Ibrahim, strive Masiyiwa, Mike Adenuga), used to be beautiful rudimentary to getting those by no means prior to now linked the usage of mobile whatsoever, primarily cheap cellphones and pay by minute SIM playing cards bought via curbside carriers.
segment II of African mobile will probably be marked by means of more international gamers, better connectivity, broader and extra developed product networks, subscription based applications, more fintech and e-commerce options, and a shift to affordable smart devices.
looking at Orange and other native and global movers in Africa’s mobile telecom markets, it’s hanging how absent the big American names are. There’s been little information of U.S. cell operators making any plays on the continent.
A Google seek for Africa and American carriers akin to T-cell, Verizon, or dash leads mostly to notes about their subscriber roaming options. We’ll see how much longer U.S. wi-fi companies can bypass one of the crucial world’s quickest growing cellular markets.
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