What did we learn from CustomApp, Uber at MTN’s app breakfast?

MTN’s App of the Year breakfast delivered a rather interesting speaker lineup, such as representatives from Uber, CustomApp and Snapscan.

We’ve already looked at Snapscan, but what did we learn from the CustomApp and Uber speakers?

Insights into Cape Town’s Uber habits

Jonathan Ayache, general manager for Uber South Africa, noted that 16% of Uber riders in Cape Town are actually foreigners.

He also claimed there was a trend of Uber vehicles complementing MyCiti buses, as people were using MyCiti buses and then Uber vehicles in areas without the bus service.

UberPOOL in SA?

Ayache refused to divulge any details about upcoming cities on the African continent, but did deliver the stereotypical company line of “we have a view to grow on the continent”.

The Uber executive said he was “excited” to bring UberPOOL to the country though. Unfortunately, there was no timeline on this feature coming to South Africa.

A question about driver syndicates, long hours

An attendee also quizzed Ayache about long hours of work by some Uber drivers and so-called driver syndicates. I wasn’t 100% clear on what was meant by “driver syndicates”, but I gathered that the attendee meant a person leasing out cars to Uber drivers who don’t have their own vehicles.

Ayache defended Uber, saying it was still a new business model and that it was being refined all the time. He added that the company was also refining its vehicle finance initiative as well.

However, the Uber representative also said that “if anyone is unhappy, they can move”.

Want to find out property prices? Lift up your phone

CustomApp’s Cedric Keown bullishly claimed that they’ll be winning an award at this year’s App of the Year event. So what’s their new app all about?

Well, in a rather cool move, the Lightstone Property app uses augmented reality to deliver property pricing, last sale dates, owner information, monthly rates and other information. Simply point your phone at a property to get these details.

Unfortunately, this app is only available to subscribers/real estate agents, so the average consumer won’t be able to download this.

There are interesting business models for app development

I’m no expert in the field, but paying someone to make an app is usually how things go, right?

CustomApp’s approach differs somewhat, Keown said, as they make cash from the services rendered.

Keown said that they can carry the cost of development for an app, but ask for a portion of fees from the client’s services instead. He gave an example of the Live Inspect app, used to inspect vehicles for motor insurance purposes.

“We’ll carry the cost of developing the software. In fact, we’ll even host it for you… Of that R100 that it’ll cost you (to do an inspection), give us R20. So ultimately, your cost is going to be R120,” Keown explained.

Hadlee Simons


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