In a collaboration seven years ago, Safaricom joined with Craft Silicon – a leading Kenyan software development company – to launch a new taxi hailing service, Little Cab. The Founder of Little Cab, Kamal Budhabhatti, also holds the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in the company.
Within this short span of time, Little Cab has become renowned as a highly professional and user-friendly service that offers safe, on-demand rides in various car categories to accommodate each rider’s preferences. Since its inception in 2016, the company has rapidly expanded beyond Kenya, with operations in Tanzania, Ethiopia, India, Senegal, Uganda, Somalia, and recently Ghana. In Kenya, the service is available in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Eldoret, and Nyeri.
Offered as a smartphone application, Little Cab is available on Android, Windows and iOS devices. It has a short code messaging feature that helps users with traditional phones to ask for a taxi, making it the first in the world to provide a location-based service on a non-smart phone using USSD technology.
The app offers transportation and delivery services for corporate institutions and individuals seven days a week.
Among its ride-hailing services, customers have an option of booking between the Basic, Economy, Comfort and Comfort Plus categories, which vary in terms of car space, comfortability and ride price. Additionally, there is the Little Boda option, for customers who are in a rush and prefer the speed yet safety offered by Little Cab’s motorbikes. Female customers are free to choose to ride with women drivers throughout the day using the Ladybug option on the service, while male customers have the option to use it between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM.
The same offerings are available under Little Cab’s Corporate transportation services, for companies that need to transport their employees and/or clients. This service is tailored to meet the specific needs of each company, and makes it simple to manage logistics costs at all levels of the organisation. It provides a 100 percent audit trail of transportation costs that are automated and credible, and can include features like dedicated drivers, customised billing, and 24/7 customer support. In fact, unlike other ride-hailing services currently in operation, Little Cab’s business focus is on the corporate segment. This has translated into highly professional drivers, higher requirements for permitted vehicles and guaranteed top-notch services. Employees can travel around in comfort and style while on business.
Furthermore, parcel delivery services are available to customers who need to send packages or documents to a destination. Depending on the size of the deliverable, customers may opt for either the Parcel or Goods category on the Little Cab app.
In March 2022, Little Cab introduced e-bikes and e-scooters in Kenyan universities and select estates in Nairobi. The service began as a pilot phase in the University of Nairobi (UoN), with 200 of the motorised two-wheelers. According to Budhabhatti, the launch encourages users to adopt green energy mobility, as the world is pivoting towards settling on the ‘green way’ approach.
As an equal opportunity employer, Little Cab has established women’s economic empowerment programs in more than four African countries as part of its Little Women Initiative (LWI), to drive the financial independence of one million women drivers by 2030 in Africa. The initiative, which was launched last year, has enabled more than 10,000 women drivers in Kenya under the Ladybug category thus far. Moreover, the company has introduced a program that targets to recruit female riders to work as delivery agents for Little Cab’s partners, including Carrefour supermarket and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), among others.
In the spirit of being a truly customer-obsessed brand, Little Cab often engages in various partnerships that benefit its consumer base. Some of these value-adds include ride offers in the form of e-vouchers, and discounts at select restaurants and shopping mall outlets. To add onto that, the Little Movie Experience is a service offered by the app that allows customers to buy a ticket from a movie cinema in Nairobi of their choice, buy snacks, and order a ride to the cinema, granting convenience and efficiency.
In a nutshell, Little Cab has established itself as a strong Kenyan brand. Its commitment to innovation, safety, and customer obsession has allowed it to gain a loyal following and compete with larger, international ride-hailing companies. The company’s emphasis on local partnerships and job creation also demonstrates its dedication to contributing to the Kenyan economy. With its continued growth and success, Little Cab is assured to remain a prominent player in the market for years to come.