Chap Chap looks to take on African taxi market by going entirely local

Chap Chap

Chap Chap

Chap Chap, a Kenyan taxi service, will be launching its own app for Android devices later this year, its founders have announced. The company hopes to solve two pressing customer concerns it has identified in the region’s growing transport sector.

With the app installed, customers can look forward to summoning a taxi at will while providing the option of a cashless payment system.

“Transport in Africa generally is unstructured and inefficient. We hope to bring in some order, efficiency and ‘tree-huggingly’ good customer service,” the company tells Ventureburn.

In an already congested sector featuring the foreign companies EasyTaxi and Uber, Chap Chap’s founders pride themselves on being entirely local, focusing on those local issues and providing locally sourced solutions. By exploiting this niche, they aim to harbour the public’s trust and support through their hyper local approach.

“We will be working with people who are already established in their localities to acquire both commuters and operators. Our partners form the core of our ecosystem and will link us to the local communities.

“Everything down to our messaging is being localised. Why? Because people relate to things they are familiar with,” the company explains.

Furthermore, once released, the app will also make use of available and established local companies, like M-PESA, to provide the backbone of Chap Chap’s cashless system.

“A good chunk of Kenya’s GDP goes through M-PESA. Over 40% according to some estimates. Unlike Easy Taxi – Kenya we are banking on cashless transactions and M-PESA will be operational on our service from day one of our public beta,” the company notes.

The app’s initial availability will be limited to Android users, but Chap Chap will be monitoring demand for the app on additional platforms, and providing extended services in the future.

“For our first phase we’re looking at launching on Android for the MVP and iterating over the next couple of phases based on market conditions. Yes we do understand that we won’t be servicing the market adequately by being Android centric but we are looking closely at other options.

“We are not just replicating business models and software that has worked elsewhere, where working from the ground up to solve problems that are uniquely Kenyan,” the company reiterates.

“We’re not a taxi app. We’re more than that. We’d like to call ourselves a transport utility service.

“At this stage our priority is to build and shape the product to satisfy the market demands and create a niche for ourselves and not spending time chasing money, the product comes first,” added the founders.

Expect an official launch of the app in the second quarter of the year.

Andy Walker
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