Showfa, the latest taxi-hailing firm in Kenya, has set a subscription fee of Sh300 daily for car drivers. The firm’s strategy markedly differs with its rivals who charge commissions as a percentage of fares. Car drivers will pay Sh300 daily while bodaboda riders will pay Sh50, with the operators taking the entire earnings made during the course of the day.
“The daily subscription is as low as Sh300 for cars and Sh50 for Bodas,” said The Company’s Business Development Director Dhruv Rajah.Drivers on the platform can make daily, weekly or monthly subscriptions.
Trade and Investments Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria, who officiated the launch, was the first customer to be onboarded after he took a ride for a State House meeting. Showfa’s driver and the passenger apps are available for download on PlayStore and IOS.
Additionally, the firm announced plans to launch ambulance services where customers can order emergency services through the app.
Showfa joins a crowded market of over six taxi-apps that have been licensed by the National Transport and Safety Authority to operate in the country. They include Bolt, Uber, Little, Farasi and Yego.
Unlike the commission-based model where drivers pay a set percentage to the taxi platforms every time they make a trip, Showfa’s subscription-based strategy, which is the first of its kind in Kenya, will see drivers submit payments only once while retaining the rest of the day’s earnings.
Yego and Little, for instance, require drivers to submit a 12 percent and a 15 percent commission per ride respectively while others charge 18 percent.
“We feel that if you have a happy driver, a happy rider, the customers will flow because they know that they are giving and also empowering Kenyans for the services,” Mr Rajah said during the launch.
In October last year, Uber and Bolt were forced to cut their commission charges from 25 percent and 20 percent respectively to 18 percent each. This was after drivers protested high cost of living and ballooning fuel costs which they said were forcing them to take home lower earnings.
The entry of more players in the ride-hailing market has expanded options for travellers as well as riders and drivers in the gig economy.