New local tech startup launches ‘Uber’ for driving lessons

Launched in September 2020, a new automotive-focused tech startup, Nubee is the first driving lessons booking app in Africa. 

The app allows locals to book driving lessons with vetted driving instructors

Nubee on the block 

Founded by Stellenbosch University alumni law students, Jarryd Strydom and Jason Bruce-Brand, Nubee aims to revolutionise the way people book driving lessons around the world. 

In an interview with Ventureburn, Jason Bruce-Brand explains that Nubee is an innovative solution to booking driving lessons for South Africans. 

“We believe the driving lessons industry is ripe for innovation, and that our product makes the whole process life-cycle far easier for both learner drivers and driving instructors. Moreover, by leveraging technology to improve the transparency of driving instructor quality, the driving ability of new drivers will be bolstered, leading to safer roads.”

Completely bootstrapped, Nubee is the ”new kid on the block” in the automotive tech industry and has employed the talents of its founders to create the cutting-edge online platform. 

“Jarryd coded a portion of the MVP himself, having learnt to code during the lockdown,” comments Bruce-Brand. 

As a disruptor to the existing driving school industry, Nubee provides a ‘level playing field’ for competing driving schools along with a solution to booking a qualified driving instructor for users. 

Bruce-Brand elaborates on the importance of Nubee in providing an alternative employment route for driving instructors. 

“The traditional driving school landscape makes it very difficult for small driving schools to gain market share as client acquisition is largely based on driving school size or word of mouth. Nubee changes this in that driving instructors who provide the best service will ultimately secure the most clients.”

Nubee is currently available for use in Cape Town, Stellenbosch, and Somerset West, with plans to scale nationwide followed by an international expansion in mid-2021. 

The technical side 

Nubee utilises a multi-faceted mobile application that has the following features for users: 

  • Booking of driving lessons in real-time with a qualified and vetted driving instructors
  • In-app payments for driving lessons 
  • Geolocation software to ensure the safety of both instructors and learner drivers 
  • A calendar feature 
  • A chat function 
  • Built-in ratings and reviews. 

“The user interface can be described as an ‘Uber for driving lessons’,” explains Bruce-Brand. 

The app is available for free on the Google Playstore and App store. Each instructor is given the opportunity to choose their hourly rate and users can choose from several qualified driving teachers on the app. 

Potential instructors 

Instructors must go through a rigorous vetting process before they are approved to host their services on the Nubee platform. Instructors must also employ the use of their own vehicle for lessons. 

Bruce-Brand points out that currently in the driving lesson industry, many instructors are left unchecked, operating without a driving license or without the required government-issued Instructors Certificate needed to provide lessons.

“From day one we have made it paramount to have a procedurally sound vetting process. Each registered instructor is individually vetted by the company’s in-house quality assurance team before being activated on the app. We will then continue to assess an instructors’ vehicle condition every week.” 

In addition, learner drivers are able to view potential instructors’ ratings and reviews prior to booking a lesson, providing them with peace of mind and an informed decision. 

Both instructors and learners must be aware that there is a 10% platform processing fee for all transactions conducted via Nubee. 

In addition, instructors can benefit from the platform as Nubee has partnered with various third parties to provide discounts on vehicle repairs, car washes, fuel, and more. 

Covid-19 protocols 

Ensuring that both drivers and learners are provided with peace of mind during the Covid-19 pandemic, Nubee has put in place several compliances to comply with the necessary regulations. 

Some of these compliances include that each instructor on the app is wearing a mask and medical-grade hand sanitiser for every lesson conducted. Leaners are also required to wear a mask during driving lessons, ensuring the safety of all parties. 

“Moreover, we have stringent health and safety protocols which we monitor closely,” adds Bruce-Brand. 

Read more: New car tech startup launches in Cape Town
Read more: SA startup launches new feature to screen students for Covid-19

Featured image: Jarryd Strydom and Jason Bruce-Brand, founders of Nubee (Supplied) 

Ishani Chetty: Editor
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