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Little woos cab drivers with Sh50m loans fund

Kamal Budhabhatti
Craft Silicon founder Kamal Budhabhatti. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenyan online taxi-hailing firm Little is set to advance its drivers emergency loan in a bid to attract more partners to its application.
Little has set aside Sh50 million for loaning about 10,000 drivers on its platform. Little’s services are available in Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa.

The taxi-hailing app is also available in Uganda and is set to launch in Rwanda later this month. Drivers seeking Little loan can borrow up to Sh5,000, which is subject to the borrower’s rating.

“We do not charge interest rates, but a flat fee of Sh50 per week. Since it is easy for drivers to understand. The loans we are giving is for maximum one month,” said Craft Silicon founder Kamal Budhabhatti.

“We have developed an AI (artificial intelligence) which evaluates the driver performance based on various data points like behaviour, driving patterns, rating, cancellations,” said Mr Budhabhatti.

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The development comes barely a week after Little announced that it had sold a Sh300 million stake to an Indian fintech company.

The investment from India comes in the wake of Little’s quest to streamline its payment system and at the beginning of its foray outside Kenya.

Little launched in Kenya in July 2016. Its entry into the local online taxi-hailing space sparked off a price war that pitted it against rivals Uber and Estonian-based Taxify, which responded by slashing their fares.

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