While on-demand transport services are undeniably useful, they are not without their problems. In particular, women who use these services have reported incidents of harassment, which highlights the need for measures to improve safety in the on-demand transportation sector. An Nisa Taxi is one such solution that seeks to make the industry safer for women

An Nisa Taxi is a women-only taxi service developed by a Kenyan start-up. It allows women to commute safely without being harassed and enables women drivers to do their jobs peacefully. According to founder Mehnaz Sarwar, the startup has a team of women drivers and caters to women and children. “We also offer monthly packages for parents and working women. [...] We empower our drivers by offering them better rates while working in a safe environment for both our drivers and customers,” she added.

Currently, the solution only has an Android app, with the iOS version still under development. Using the app, users can create An Nisa accounts and access various services. They only need to choose the type of car they want, and depending on the route and location, the app suggests the closest driver. Users can then book their rides, wait for the driver to arrive -and even follow them in real-time- and pay. An Nisa Taxi's policy is so strict that a woman cannot take a cab with her partner unless it's an emergency.

An Nisa derives its revenues from subscriptions, partnerships with companies, and margins on daily rides. The startup collects a 15% commission on the rides performed by its “self-employed” drivers. To work with An Nisa, drivers need to own their cars and pass the verification process.

The startup is still self-financed and has not yet attracted outside investments despite its strong growth in recent years. According to its figures, it reached the 10,000-user mark this year and hopes to expand to Saudi Arabia, where it has many partners.

Adoni Conrad Quenum 

Published in Solutions

The solution was launched by two foreign students in Mauritius as they believe the country is the best place to start, to quickly penetrate Southern African markets. 

Vite is a digital solution developed by a Mauritian start-up. It allows users to book rides and parcel deliveries. 

Through its mobile app, accessible on Appstore and Playstore, users can use its on-demand transportation services or even request the delivery of items like food, spice, etc as well as send for an errand. The platform integrates a WhatsApp link for users to report any issues that arise. 

The solution claims more than 700 partner drivers, over 10,000 customers served and more than 24,500 trips and orders completed. To improve its efficiency, it is partnered with various entities. For example, it provides delivery services to more than 250 restaurants. 

Based in Grand Bay, its founding startup was launched, in 2017, by Isaac Agyemang and Ukeme Augustine Jonah, two foreign students. Commenting on why it was launched in Mauritius, Vite’s chief marketing officer Anthony Takyi said: “If you are going to do business and get things smoother than smooth in Africa, Mauritius is certainly the starting point. It is the gateway to the SADC region.” 

In 2020, the startup completed a funding round of an undisclosed amount to develop its technology and accelerate its growth. It is growing steadily and hopes to expand into the sub-region in the coming years. To date, its Android app has been downloaded more than 10,000 times from PlayStore. 

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions

The solution aims to help merchants with their transportation needs.

Garri is a digital solution developed by an Ethiopian startup. It allows shippers to easily and reliably move their goods anywhere within Ethiopia using carriers and drivers approved by the startup. The solution, launched in 2020, has raised $100,000 to support its growth. 

It aims to eliminate freight logistics hassles by optimizing and digitizing every aspect of the industry. For that purpose, it developed mobile apps -for Android and iOS devices- to make the process easier. Shippers and drivers sign up and Garri handles driver approval to allow only trusted ones on its platform.

It explains that its “vetted drivers earn more money per trip, have a safer and more flexible work experience, and develop better relationships with transporters and shippers, with increased opportunity to own/operate their own truck.” 

“Garri works to find round trips and multileg to minimize empty miles and maximize customer earnings,” it added. 

Before booking a driver, shippers need to request a quote via the mobile app or the web platform. Once the price is agreed upon, Garri matches the shipment with the best carrier for the job. Then, when a driver is assigned to the shipment, the startup notifies the requester, who can then track the delivery in real-time.  Upon successful completion, all paperwork is handed to the requester.  

In 2022, Garri was selected among the 60 startups to participate in the second cohort of the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund for Africa, receiving a share of the $4 million support dedicated to the participants. 

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions

After the suspension of the on-demand transport company Yango in Cameroon last February, local engineers and the Cameroonian diaspora launched an alternative to fill the void left behind. 

On Monday, April 17, 2023, a new digital car and cab booking service launched its activities in Cameroon. Deployed by the start-up Intelart Technology founded by Lamine Nyamoutet, Ongo is currently available in the cities of Yaoundé and Douala. It facilitates urban and interurban travel in Cameroon.

“We will initially offer our services in the political and economic capitals but we plan to extend the services to all the 10 regions in Cameroon,”  said Didier Ndengue, Intelart Technology’s public relations officer.  

The solution has a mobile app -Android and iOS apps- through which users can register and access its services. With the account, a user can choose his/her destination. The app will then suggest the driver closer to the departure point and, if the user agrees with the estimated fare, he/she can confirm the trip.  

The transport fare depends on the type of vehicle chosen. Apart from on-demand transport services, Ongo also offers vehicle rental services for events such as weddings and family celebrations. Several types of vehicles are available for rent, depending on users’ financial capabilities.

Since its launch, the Android version of the mobile application has already been downloaded over a thousand times. Despite competition from Gozem, Ongo is on track to possibly fill the void left by Yango, which was suspended by Cameroonian authorities last February.  

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions
vendredi, 24 mars 2023 14:44

Rwanda: Yegomoto facilitates bike hailing

Motorcycle taxis are one of the most widely used transport modes in Africa. But, the sector is sometimes disorganized and hailing bike drivers can be a hurdle. In Rwanda,  a start-up wants to make bike hailing easier.  

Yegomoto is an urban mobility solution developed by the Rwandan start-up Yego Innovision Ltd, a subsidiary of the Singaporean firm Kommlabs. It allows Kigalians to easily move around town on their preferred transport mode, motorcycle cabs.  

Through its mobile apps -available for Android and iOS devices, users can request a bike ride or even hail car drivers. Its motorcycle taxi drivers are identifiable by their bright-red helmets. So, if a user doesn’t want to or is unable to book a ride through the mobile app, he/she can just hail the Yegomoto drivers on the roadside and easily get to their destination. In the two cases, once at the destination, the cost of the ride is displayed by meters, allowing the user to pay via mobile money, the Tap and Pay card, or Yegomoto’s  Ride-tap-Pay card.

In addition to public transport, the start-up is active in last-mile delivery. Since its launch, the Android version of the application has been downloaded more than 10,000 times. Yegomoto claims more than 16,226,575 trips and more than 84,820,632 kilometers traveled. It plans to launch in Harare and Bulawayo, Zimbabwe before eying other African countries.  

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions

Listed on the Nasdaq, it is undoubtedly one of the most important South African mobility startups. 

Swvl is an e-mobility solution developed by an eponymous Egyptian start-up. It allows users to easily run their errands with round-the-clock rides.  Based in Cairo, the startup behind the app was founded in 2017 by Mostafa Kandil, Ahmed Sabbah, Mahmoud Nouh, and Rafael Coronel. 

Since its inception, it has raised about $264 million to accelerate its growth in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. It describes itself as a "tech-driven, affordable, and convenient transportation service, committed to enabling cities, people, and businesses to move everywhere.

Through its mobile app available for iOS, Android, and Huawei devices, users can create an account and book the many bus or van routes available to get to work, an appointment, or run errands.

The app presents the most frequented routes and users only have to choose the ones on their way. They can also combine routes if there are no straight routes to their destinations. 

Since 2022, Swvl is experiencing rapid growth. After consecutive fundraisings, it is launched in 115 cities in 18 countries on four continents. The Android version of its app has been downloaded more than 10 million times. It claims more than 75 million rides booked and more than 20,000 drivers.  In 2022, the startup got listed on Nasdaq, the second largest stock exchange in the U.S., with an IPO price of $9.95 per share.

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions

The solution capitalizes on the free-movement-agreement between West African countries to easily move goods across the sub-region, facilitating transport and logistics operations for whosoever needs such services. 

Anaxar is a digital platform developed by a Togolese eponymous start-up, founded in 2020. It helps users easily transport goods across West Africa.  In fact, it connects freight owners, truck owners, and freight recipients.

Using its platform, users can request free quotes by filling out a dedicated form and providing information such as the nature of the goods, the weight, and the departure and arrival areas. Once the form is submitted, the startup gets in touch to evaluate needs and provide personalized and the most competitive quotes. When the user accepts the quote, he/she needs to validate it to get the goods transported to the desired location. 

Let’s note that once the goods arrive at the stated location, the startup once again contacts the user to notify it. Apart from transporting goods, Anaxar also specializes in removal and delivery. It is present in all the West African countries with a network of over 1,000 professional transporters. It claims competitive prices and points out that its priority is customer satisfaction, with the goal of becoming the leader in the sector. 

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions

Freight transport has become an attractive sector for tech entrepreneurs in recent years. The volume of investment and number of innovations is ever rising to allow timely and affordable deliveries

Chargel is a digital platform developed by a Senegalese eponymous start-up. It allows truckers to quickly find clients without driving around with empty trucks. It also allows shippers to quickly find truck drivers to transport their goods at affordable prices. 

It connects shippers and carriers, and offers value-added services like GPS tracking, discounted fuel purchases, and repair assistance to allow truckers to focus on their “core business and get shipments to their destination.” 

Shippers can book available trucks instantly or in advance, track their goods in real time and get electronic proof of delivery. 

The startup behind the solution aims to become the largest digital logistics platform in Francophone Africa. Earlier this year, it secured US$750,000 in pre-seed funding to support its growth. It is also hopeful for seed funding, by the end of the year, to scale up.  

For Raja Kaul, founder and managing partner of Logos Ventures, one of Chargel's investors, the startup's founders are well "positioned to build Chargel into a leading logistics marketplace in Senegal, and eventually across West Africa."

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions

The solution created in Ghana to facilitate freight transport across Africa has now taken on the international scene. 

Swiftly is a digital solution developed by a Ghanaian eponymous startup founded in 2016. It allows its users -namely freight forwarders and traders- access to freight quotes and expert advice on customs regulations, and ships goods worldwide.  

To use the solution, users have to visit its web platform and fill out a form with their freight details to get quotes from the startup’s network of freight forwarders.  They can thus select the best quote, make payment online and wait for the freight to be delivered. 

Air freights usually take between three and five working days against 30-40 days for sea freight and 1-2 days for road freights. For usual courier services, the delivery time is usually below three hours. 

Let’s note that to get quotes and order freight or courier services, users will have to create their Swiftly accounts by providing personal information like name, surname, email, phone number, etc. Using their Swiftly accounts, users can also negotiate with other Swiftly users to co-lease containers for their shipments. 

“It is a waste of space when someone has to ship a half-full container by sea, a half-full package by air, or hire a delivery service without fully utilizing the space in there. We aim to solve that by linking shippers to each other for them to share their extra space. Others also wish they could find someone to collaborate with to load a shipment, we are the matching platform for such people,”  explained Swiftly co-founder Edem Dotse.

The startup, which claims rates up to 30% lower than the competition, went from shipping just 100 kilograms yearly to 500 tons monthly. According to Edem Dotse, it already ships goods from all over the world to countries like Ghana, South Africa, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Rwanda, Nigeria, the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia, and China. 

Its plan is now to establish a physical presence in French-speaking West Africa, and East Africa. It also plans to introduce its business model in the United States, China, and Europe.

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions

He co-built his travel tech Tripesa from the ashes of another startup: Roundbob. The new startup has already earned the trust of several investors. 

David Gonahasa (photo) is a Ugandan economist and entrepreneur. He is also the CEO of travel tech Tripesa, which he co-founded in 2021 with Thomas Karugaba and Raymond Byaruhanga.

Tripesa was born out of the ashes of travel booking platform Roundbob during the coronavirus pandemic, which affected the whole world.  It offers African SMEs operating in the tourism industry a solution to optimize their operations and improve their profitability. 

Small businesses must be able to package tourism and digitally distribute a splendid tourism experience for it to sell, or else they stand to lose the market to the few bigger players. [...]  What Tripesa is doing is leveling the playing field, enabling small operators to leverage technology to escape the market limitations and scale their businesses,”  David told TechCabal in August 2022 when Tripesa closed an undisclosed pre-seed round to scale across Africa. 

Apart from his passion for the African tourism industry, David Gonahasa is also a wildlife conservation enthusiast. In 2021, he co-founded The Naturalist, a conservation company leveraging technology to protect wildlife resources. Through his conservation company, he launched the Home of the Gorillas project, which aims to create additional revenues to complement the tourist trekking income that remains the main source of financing the Mountain Gorilla conservation. 

In 2018, he participated in the Alibaba e-founders fellowship program. A year earlier, he won the Innovator of the Year Prize during the MTN Innovations Awards.  David is a seasoned entrepreneur with several ventures under his belt but, he also has an extensive professional career, which started in 2007. That year, after being the business development director of the e-business company Mediaflower Uganda he co-founded, he joined advertising company Creaxion Rwanda as an account director. The following year, he assumed services as a client services manager for the online marketing agency MAAD Advertising. He later joined Real Marketing Uganda, another marketing agency, as its strategic director before assuming office as the chief marketing officer of universal payment platform Mobicash Africa, in 2011. Some years later, he made a brief stint as a senior consultant for business manager SMEHUB. 

Melchior Koba

Published in TECH STARS
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