KENYA – Little Cab, a local e-hailing taxi firm and a Safaricom-backed app, has introduced an online chat booking platform, thus increasing reservation options for customers amid growing competition in the local market.

Through the platform, a user can hail a Little taxi by sending their location pin to a WhatsApp number. Instantly, vehicles within the rider’s area will be scanned and the details of the vehicle and driver’s contact will be shared through the app.

 “All a taxi rider needs to do is save our number 777000777 and share their location through WhatsApp. Once this happens one will automatically be connected to a driver near them. At the end of the trip a customer will also receive a message telling them how much they need to pay for the trip,” said Craftsilicon founder Kamal Budhabhatti. Craftsilicon is a local tech firm and Little’s parent company.

Following its launch in 2016, the Craft Silicon taxi-hailing service introduced a USSD code which enabled Little Cab customers to dial *826# from their mobile phone to request for a cab.

The solution, like hailing a taxi through telephone calls, provides relief to customers who have not downloaded the app but require a quick transport solution when in a rush. when one orders a Little via WhatsApp, you get a discount on your ride.

Recently we saw the launch of Little Longhaul, a shuttle service from Nairobi to Naivasha and Nakuru, aimed squarely at the PSV service.

Little is the first company in the world to allow users to hail a cab right from WhatsApp. Nairobi is a hot-bed for these taxi platforms.

The idea behind Little powered by Safaricom is to provide affordable and convenient cab services to as many Kenyans as possible. This move is seen as a strategy to increase its market share in the saturated market filled with many players.

The ride-hailing industry is a rather competitive one with new entrants like Twende App and InDriver really trying to curve themselves a piece of the pie from the bigger players like Uber and Bolt. They do this using ingenious innovations and new ways to do things.

It is available in cities in Kenya, Uganda and Zambia.