Kenyan Telco Safaricom to Launch Taxi App to Rival Uber

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Safaricom has teamed up with Nairobi-based software firm Craft Silicon to design Littlecabs, a taxi-hailing application that will rival Uber.

The telecommunications company will develop the app, offer the network connectivity and install WiFi in Littlecabs partner vehicles and process payments for taxi services through mobile money transfer service M-Pesa.

Uber launched in Kenya in 2015 and operates in two cities, Nairobi and Mombasa. Several Uber partner vehicles have been torched following turf wars with local Kenyan taxi drivers and several men charged by authorities for damage to property and attempted murder.

CEO Bob Collymore told Reuters that the move is Safaricom’s way of seeking new revenue sources.

The company enjoys the biggest market share in Kenya and remains focused on its core business of offering voice, SMS, data and M-Pesa services.

Safaricom’s total annual revenue rose to $1.9 billion in 2015.

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