Nairobi has welcomed its newest ride-hailing company known as Showfa, which will compete for the same cake with brands such as Bolt, Uber, Little Cab inDriver, Yego, Wasili among others.
Showfa is promising a different model of operation where drivers are not charged a commission but have to pay a weekly fee of up to Ksh. 300. The company is also introducing ambulance services accessible through its app.
“We understand that the current economic climate has made it difficult for many drivers to make ends meet, which is why we are proud to offer our zero-commission platform,” the firm said in a statement.
“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,” said Dhruv Rajah, the company’s business development director.
Drivers working with ride-hailing companies have been complaining of high commissions charged by the firms, even after a law demanding commissions to be capped at 18% was passed. Last week, the RideHail Transport Organization, an association of digital taxi Saccos in Kenya issued a seven-day strike notice to the industry regulator, the National Transport and Safety Authority(NTSA), saying that ride-hailing companies had blatantly refused to comply with the law.
The Showfa launch was attended by Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria and Nairobi Deputy Governor James Njoroge. Kuria said that his ministry will look into several laws governing the local establishment of international enterprises.
“We have got this part in our statute that requires international companies to have thirty percent local ownership if you’re to set up some of the operations like data centers. Those laws are outdated,” he said.