Showfa So Good! The Best Deal For Cab Drivers and Riders in Kenya?

Showfa taxi cab Kenya
Image: Courtesy

Showfa, a new taxi-hailing company, has joined the growing list of digital cab services in Kenya. After a period of research in the market, the startup claims to have found the core problems facing the industry. Showfa promises a more profitable business for drivers and a cheaper experience for passengers.

New Taxi-Hailing Service Showfa Launches in Kenya

There is so much you can do to re-invent the wheel. Looking at the Showfa app today, no significant difference is seen between the platform and any other player like Uber or Bolt. This is not necessarily bad, again, because there are not many iterations you can do to a “dial-a-service” process. The tech is always almost similar, but the business model can always change.

Last year, taxi drivers on Uber Kenya, Little, and Bolt went on strike to push the firms to lower the commission charged on fares. As per the time they went on strike, Uber was charging a 25 percent commission per single ride, and Bolt and Little charged 20 percent and 15 percent, respectively. 

After drivers downed their tools, Uber cut the commission it charges on fares to 18 percent from 25 percent.

Later in the year, YEGO Global, the ride-hailing firm from Rwanda, finally made headway into the Kenyan market. At a 12 percent commission, YEGO has been charging the least commission from drivers in Kenya.

What’s better than a low commission? None.

Showfa: The Best Deal in Kenya?

Showfa says it charges zero commission on these drivers and instead takes a one-off daily subscription

“We have done market research and what the riders and drivers tell us is that they pay too much and exorbitant fees in commissions to foreign companies. We want to change that, we want a platform where they can save more.” Dhruv Rajah, the startup’s Business Development Director.

So far, there is no clear communication on how much the subscription fee will be. However, provided there is no commission charged on every trip, the fare pricing should be a guaranteed cheaper calculation compared to the rest. Cab riders can therefore expect to cope in an economy where prices of almost every item are skyrocketing.

Additionally, Showfa plans to launch ambulance services where customers can order rescue services through the application.

Still, I ask the same question as when YEGO launched in Kenya. The terms are all attractive right, but will it work?

For the past few years, most mobility firms have been finding it hard to operate in Kenya. In a sudden turn of events, SWVL and SafeBoda exited the market owing to a couple of factors including high operations costs. 

Is there something Showfa knows that Uber, SWVL, and the rest of the long-term players don’t? Will their cheaper, more attractive model be sustainable?

Once more, time will tell.

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