Global ride-hailing rivals, Taxify and Uber have launched a motorcycle ("okada" or "Boda" as it is called in East Africa) hailing service in East Africa. Customers of both companies in Uganda and Taxify riders in Kenya can now order up bikes using the apps.
Uber's service, branded uberBoda, is Uber’s first motorcycle service offering in Africa, and second globally. Uber launched motorcycle-hailing in Asia last year. For Taxify, which just calls it 'Boda', it’s the first two-wheel launch in any of the company’s 20 plus international markets. Creative names, no?
Both Taxify and Uber have said that said they intend to look more deeply into motorcycle financing plans for drivers, expanded rider training, and ways to build more safety into the two-wheel taxi markets. And both of them also plan to expand into other African cities as soon as possible, but only uber actually revealed the next steps in their launch - Entebbe in Uganda, and Rwanda.
It's important to know that Uber and Taxify expansions have been met with protests from traditional car drivers; and their expansion into the bike space will only increase the protests. Time will tell how Kenya and Uganda’s non-digital boda boda pilots , and the customers respond to these new 'disruptions'.
In any case, if, more like when, they launch in Nigeria, they'll be competing with incumbent bike hailing service, MaxGo. And they'll probably be called 'uberOkada'. We should trademark that.
Tech and politics. Is there even a difference between the two?
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