Photograph — Quartz

In what is quickly becoming a rapid expansion across Africa, international ride-hailing service, InDriver has made an entry into Uganda’s transport space. This move comes at a time when Africa’s ride-hail markets are becoming more competitive and sophisticated, with the introduction of motorcycle and boat taxi services.

InDriver, which was founded in Russia, allows for negotiation between drivers and riders by allowing passengers to name their own fare for nearby drivers to accept, decline or counter. The app-based taxi company is headquartered in New York and now operates in four African countries; Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda.

With its unique operating model which is based on bidding, InDriver hopes to significantly enhance ride-hailing access in Uganda, provide affordable and efficient service to passengers with fair compensation to drivers, and the opportunity to preview routes before accepting a fare.

Ride-hailing service, InDriver logo. Photo credit: Wikipedia

According to InDriver’s Chief Marketing Officer, Egor Fedorov, taxi services in Uganda do not leave any choice for locals when it comes to the cost of trips. Instead, users are offered to agree to the price specified.

Therefore, InDriver’s goal is to enable “customers and drivers to independently and directly determine the fair and favorable price of each trip,” Fedorov revealed. Also, Kampala residents using InDriver will be able to make sure that the cost of travel can be significantly lower than the usual prices.

Moreover, the startup’s mobile app allows for cash payment, and InDriver views itself more as an IT service than a taxi company, Fedorov told TechCrunch. The company does not directly finance or brand cars in Africa. It charges a percentage of each ride to generate revenue and does not currently take a commission from drivers in Africa, though it does in other markets.

InDriver, now operating in 200 cities and used by 26 million people, has raised $15 million in two rounds. More notable competitors in Africa, Uber and Bolt (formerly Taxify), have added motorcycle-taxi services on the continent. But for now, InDriver will stick to car-based taxi service in Africa or look to add other services it already offers in other markets, such as truck rental services.

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