Little, a Kenyan taxi-hailing firm, is set to begin executing its West African expansion as it prepares to launch in Ghana.
Little’s parent company, Craft Silicon began expansion plans since 2018 when it announced to Reuters that it had sold 10% of its company to an investor in Indian for $3 million and is looking to raise an additional $100 million for expansion.
“West Africa is a large market, and if Little has to be a key player in Africa, we need to be present there in addition to East Africa. Hence the march towards West Africa,” said Little CEO and Craft Silicon Founder, Kamal Budhabhatti.
Little’s Launch Plans In Accra
The ride-hailing firm was founded in 2016 and launched in partnership with Kenya’s Safaricom and reportedly offered about 12,000 rides a day in peak times.
The company is currently recruiting a small team in Accra and will launch virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. All its training and recruitment will also be done virtually.
“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.” Kamal Budhabhatti said.
“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. ” he said.
Little is also planning to expand into a second West African city and they were still in the discussion phase.
Little is aware of the competition from major names like Uber and Bolt but emphasized the role of innovation of their company by highlighting features such as USSD ordering for customers without smartphones and value-added services that provide multiple streams of income for drivers.
“Our drivers are agents, they can sell insurance to you, they can sell (mobile) airtime, they can pay light and/or water bills, they can do all those little things around that increases that income. About 20 percent of our rides actually come from non-smartphones” Kamal Budhabhatti said.