Ethiopia’s ZayRide mulls expanding into Liberia, Ivory Coast & Kenya this year

Ethiopia’s taxi hailing service ZayRide is set to launch in Monrovia, Liberia in August this year to fulfill its pan-African expansion plans.

The firm is also looking at expanding into Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya and Somaliland according to a report by Quartz Africa. ZayRide has partnered with Hak Technologies, a web solutions firm based in Liberia. The two firms will introduce 200 cars in Monrovia, a market ignored by Uber, Careem and Bolt.

“We want to be the brand of Africa. We want to expand to more countries,” Habtamu Tadesse, founder of ZayRide told the publication.

Since its launch in the capital city of Addis Ababa, ZayRide has already gained over 15,000 registered users, and completed over 1000 rides with overwhelmingly positive feedback. Built to function on slower internet speeds, ZayRide sees its huge potential in Africa due to its minimalized features and use of low resolution images.

ZayRide is doing delivery with Zay Delivery but its now looking at other services such as Ambulance as well as payments. Zaytech has already launched ArifPay, a mobile point of sale (mPOS) service that allows payments for merchants on the web, mobile or at POS.

Recently, ZayRide, which began with nothing but the founders own personal savings, started a crowdfunding campaign hoping to raise US$100,000. With the funds, the founder aimed to bolster Zayride’s efforts to improve its user interface and set up a ZayRide call center to allow persons without smart phones to call and request taxi services as well as a training course for drivers.

Though Habtamu Tadesse is determined to expand across Africa, he will need more than sheer determination and guts to take on these markets especially in East Africa, where Uber and Bolt are spending millions of dollars in driver and passenger incentives and technology to attract more users.

In August 2017, Didi Chuxing, China’s leading mobile transportation platform invested an undisclosed amount in Taxify in Europe and Africa. The deal will see the two firm’s collaborate  to support the Taxify’s further growth and innovation across its diversified markets. Didi brings on board AI technologies and an extensive range of mobility services, including Taxi, Premier, Express, Luxe, Hitch, etc., to over 400 million users in more than 400 cities. In addition to creating over 17 million flexible work and income opportunities for its driver-partners, DiDi leverages its AI capabilities to help cities develop integrated and sustainable smart transportation solutions.