With the expectant competition in ride hailing business subsector across the continent, existing operators are working on boosting the competitive edge of their brands. This probably informs the latest investment worth $3 million (Kshs 324 million) by Craft Silicon in its ride hailing subsidiary, Little for expansion. With this boost, Little will use the additional funding to launch operations in West Africa, where they are piloting the app service in Accra, Ghana. There are also talks that Nigeria is on the radar.
“We have already started testing the product in Accra. Since travel may be an issue, we are taking an approach of opening a new city without visiting there. We would recruit drivers online, provide training online,” Craft Silicon and Little CEO, Kamal Budhabatti said. “West Africa is a large market, and if Little have to be a key player in Africa, we need to be present there in addition to East Africa. Hence the march towards West Africa.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the current travel restrictions, the company said they will run the pilot, training and recruitment of drivers virtually. “Accra being a big city like Nairobi, having fully virtual operations is not recommended. So we would be recruiting some staff there, and interviews are underway. But we are going to try and make as much as possible to operate virtually keeping in mind the new normal,” he said.
Ghana will be the fifth country that Little will have operations in, after Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia. They had hinted that they had plans to extend their operations t Ghana early last year.Little has been eyeing to conquer the African market through expansion for some time now. Last year, they revealed that they had plans to raise about $50 million from investors for expansion. Two years ago, the company sold some stakes to an unnamed Indian investor for expansion.
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