Zayride’s expansion into West Africa: an opportunity for African startups to grow further through taxi booking app

develop zayrides like taxi booking app

Want to start taxi service business in Africa? Read here how we can help to develop Zayrides like taxi booking app to give wings to your business idea.


ZayRide was launched in July 2016 as a Taxi booking app on the streets of Africa. It is now expanding its branches to Liberian capital, Monrovia. Ethiopia got its first taxi service with taxi booking app ascending the streets of Addis Ababa. ZayRide launched its services in collaboration with the Liberian web solutions firm Hak Technologies. The Ethiopian on-demand taxi booking app is expected to offer 200 cars by August this year.

Taxi booking apps similar to Uber and its competition Bolt (previously Taxify) are yet to penetrate into Ethiopia even as they have offered low-cost to premium taxies in smaller African nations which includes Uganda, Mauritius, and Ghana.

The African market is the largest untouched market with over 100- million people. That is because the government has established a centralized economic model and they have limited private sector operations to a few lines of activities for a long period of time.

Africa has a fast-growing economy. But despite that, the nation is landlocked and has continued to be poor and meets foreign currency shortages. Investors and global tech giants have also avoided Addis Ababa. Though it is called the home to the African Union and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa headquarters. It also flaunts a new urban metro and is experiencing an extensive building of skyscrapers and roads initiated by Chinese companies. 

Why was there a need for taxi app in Addis Ababa?

The transportation in Addis Ababa revolved around the old taxis and public buses. The founder of ZayRide, Habtamu was determined to launch ZayRide. He faced a lot of frustration as he was not being able to conveniently summon a taxi on demand. He also had to monotonously do the negotiating regarding the prices with drivers.
It took 6 months for the company to establish itself. The regulators were unable to recognize if they should be registered as a transportation or software company.

Challenges faced by ZayRide:

ZayRide had to devise its platform to work with the slower internet speeds encountered by users. The first challenge was mainly about having to compress the application size. They also organized a call center to help the customers with the technology and functioning of the app during the internet shutdowns via calling. According to the founder, they wanted to get local solutions for the local problems that people were facing.

The company aims to add an array of services to its on-demand taxi booking app. The services include ambulance service and other delivery services. ZayRide has its parent firm called ZayTech which is situated in Asia and the United States. ZayRide is launching its own mobile point sale which is called as the ArifPay. This launch is keeping in mind the costs and logistics associated with paying cash for rides.

ZayRide could enter Liberia after it secured funding from both local and international investors following early crowdfunding. The founder considered choosing Liberia is part of an approach of extending their footprint into markets where Uber and other taxi booking apps are yet to start. That tactic was solidified after Hak Technologies attended them in Addis Ababa and showed interest in striking a connection to present their app in the West African state.

Trying out of Ethiopia was also a way of challenging their own instinct to stay in one market and earn more profits there. They wanted to become the brand of Africa. And at the same time, they wanted to grow in other countries. The company is spreading its wings as Ethiopia increases its market with officials declaring plans to privatize state-owned businesses. With this, they wish to revitalize the economy and decrease unemployment and poverty percentages.

Addis Ababa claims a new bright rail system

According to what Chief executive Habtamu quoted, they are encouraged by these endorsed moves. They are looking forward to expanding in Ethiopian cities like Gondar, Hawassa, and Mekelle. They also wish to keep their best foot forward in the West African states Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire. They have their eyes set on the East African markets which include Kenya and Hargeisa city in the self-declared region of Somaliland.

Just like how they won in Addis Ababa, Habtamu wants to win over the public by localizing their services and customizing them to their customer’s requirements. Each of these proposed markets has its own culture, personalized languages and its own style of completing the transaction. So they have to bear it and change it. They know only after implementing these measures they will be able to convince people to use it.

Everywhere across the world, the taxi booking app industry is unfolding at a huge rate. People don’t want to ride their own vehicle due to growing gridlock on the roads. People prefer a comfortable journey in the long rides. So, people consult taxi services. All these factors have contributed to the growth of taxi booking apps. One such long-distance taxi booking app

Also Read : A Step-by-step Guide For Successful Taxi Booking App Development for your Business

JFK airport is earning huge benefits to increasing demand for long distance airports.

The development is remarkable progress for ZayRide, as it was the first to offer Uber-like taxi booking services in Ethiopia. Even though ZayRide was not the first taxi service in the continent of Africa, they are sure the first company to offer the bookings via an app instead of calling or texting. Beside ZayRide and RIDE, there is ETTA also. In the past few years, the three businesses have joined to offer smart transport options and modernize the city’s old and rusty blue and white cabs.

What are the opportunities for you in Africa? How can you expand your taxi business in the African continent?

Opportunities are automatically there as there is less competition. You can reach more and more audience and take advantage of the first few to start. As there is just one app-based taxi booking service, you can introduce new and latest technologies to people. You can launch your own taxi booking app and gain the benefit of the technology yourself.

Want to start Taxi business in Africa? or Want to develop zayrides like taxi booking app?

Coruscate can help you in building an IoT integrated app, which can even support the low internet speed which is the biggest issue in Africa. We have a talented team of developers and researchers who work together and dig deep, measuring the pros and cons of developing a taxi booking app.

The taxi booking app development with basic features will be kind of cheap for you to launch your pivot model. The breakdown of the features along with the time and price is given in the table below:

Taxi app development price/cost

So, now that you are aware of opportunities and challenges, what are you waiting for? Get going to conquer the African market with our best technologies. Connect with us for a free consultation and ask for a demo.

Let’s build your own app

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