Taxi firm Little bets on WhatsApp bookings amid growing rivalry


Taxis in Nairobi: Local e-hailing firms are becoming more innovative as competition becomes stiffer. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Local e-hailing taxi firm Little has introduced an online chat booking platform, thus increasing reservation options for customers amid growing competition in the local market.

Riders can now hail a Little taxi by sending their location to a Whatsapp number in an automated process that will scan for vehicles within the rider’s periphery and share the details of vehicle and driver’s contact through the messaging platform.

This latest move comes as other ride hailing firms like Uber continue to aggressively market a customer service number through which riders can call to book trips.

“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.

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.

The move also comes at a time when local e-hailing firms are churning out solutions in quick succession as the competition for customers becomes stiffer.

Little’s main local competitors include Uber and Bolt (formerly Taxify).

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

The local e-hailing firm was the second to launch in the local market back in July, 2016, six months after Uber debuted in Kenya.