African ridesharing market is diverse: An ultimate guide to develop a taxi app for the African market and be profitable easily

African ridesharing market is diverse An ultimate guide to develop a taxi app for the African market and be profitable easily

To start any business and make it successful, the location where you are operating that business is worth its weight in gold. And when it comes to ridesharing business, in addition to location or market, other things like the financial status of potential users, their travelling preferences and car ownership rate also matter.

In recent years, African ride-sharing market has become a multi-wheeled and global affair. Apart from some big names, Uber and Bolt, many local taxi app providing companies are working to solve some deep-rooted problems of Africans. However, unlike Uber and Bolt, other local ride-sharing companies offer not only car taxis but rickshaw taxis, motorbike taxis, and even watercraft taxis. In other words, they are going one mile extra to satisfy the actual needs of African users in the best possible ways.

Thus, it is not advisable to treat the African market same as other markets as the African market owns a lot of disparity with American and European ride-sharing market.

In this blog, we are going to discuss the same. We will dive deep into African ride-sharing market and understand the factors you need to consider before going for taxi app development for the African market. We will also discuss top Africa-based ride-sharing companies and how much does it cost to develop a taxi app. But before all of this, let’s wrap our mind around the taxi app startup-ready African market. 

Why Africa’s ride-sharing markets are hot spots for startups?

Ride-sharing isn’t a new concept for the Africans. Taxi booking through mobile apps has been there around longer and it’s been more popular than the American market and European market. In fact, many international ridesharing companies such as Lyft which is previously known as Zimride was an homage to one of the best countries of Africa – Zimbabwe.

Following are the reasons why the African market can be considered as the gold mine for the ridesharing startups or why the probabilities to be successful in the African market is higher than the western market.

Underdeveloped Public Transportation

African countries have been called financially backward countries due to many obvious reasons and underdeveloped public transportation is one of them. In some African countries where public transportation is developed, the very high fare of it restricts Africans to use it often. Following graph clearly depicts that how much an African has to spend from its monthly budget for just 2 trips/day by public transportation.

image2 gokada-multiserviceapp-gojek

Thus by offering an affordable and quick transportation solution, your ridesharing startup can easily be their only choice when it comes to the alternative of public transportation.

The low car ownership rate

Why they choose ridesharing when they own the car? is the question all entrepreneurs have in their mind while going for taxi app development. But what if, they don’t have cars and have costly public transportation? What comes to rescue them now? Of course, a ride-sharing or taxi app.

Fun fact: In 2014, there were only 35 cars per 1000 people across Africa.

An increasing number of mobile users in Africa

In contrast to the public transportation cost and car ownership rate, the number of users currently using smartphones in Africa is impressive and it is growing faster than any other continents. From the following image, you can clearly see the smartphone users in the year 2017 and where it is estimated to reach in 2025.

An increasing number of mobile users in Africa

This many numbers of mobile users are the ray of hope if you are planning to develop a taxi app for the African markets. It shows that by proper marketing and by offering their preferred features, you can easily acquire users without fighting an uphill battle.

Top Africa-based taxi booking app providers and their funding report

Following are the few early players of African taxi booking app industry who get everything out of the startup-ready African market.


MAX Okada

  • Founder: Adetayo Bamiduro and Chinedu Azodoh
  • Year: 2015
  • Based in: Lagos
  • Funding: $7 million in its Series A
  • Lead investor: Yamaha



Motorcycle taxi app development is the newest wrinkle of the mobility market. Know how to develop a taxi app like Gokada and scope of motorcycle taxi app
  • Founder: Fahim Saleh who has also founded Pathao
  • Year: 2017
  • Based in: Lagos
  • Funding: $5 million in its series A
  • Lead investor: Rise Capital



  • Founder: Troels Andersen
  • Year: 2016
  • Based in: Nairobi, Kenya
  • Funding: $2 million in its series B funding round, total funding amount $5 million
  • Lead investor: Unknown

After reading so far, if you are thrilled to develop a taxi app for the African market, the following are the things which you shouldn’t neglect as the African market is very diverse. 

An ultimate guide to develop a taxi app for the African market

As we have discussed earlier in this blog, you have to study the market, users’ financial status and their vehicle choice to make your ride sharing startup moneymaking. So, we at Coruscate created a team to discover the hidden business challenges of the African ride sharing market.

And here is what our research team has learned after analyzing all these factors.

Customization is the key to taste success in the African market

The most surprising thing we found about all local ridesharing companies in Africa is their multi-service platform. They are offering many types of vehicle choices and many other services like food delivery, parcel delivery, grocery delivery from the single app.

For instance, Mondo allows riders to hail a motorbike, three-wheeled rickshaw or tuk-tuk, and a car. They even provide corporate solutions where companies can hail the ride for their employees.

Thus, looking at the market, we encourage you to think beyond the conventional taxi app and integrate multiple features and services in it. Because that is what Africans want.

» Allow them to pay cash

More than 50% of the Africans are unbanked. Which simply means that they are not going to pay through the debit or credit card. Their preferred payment method is always cash.

Thus you need to ask taxi app development company to add features to let users pay cash for the fare. You also need to ask the taxi app development company to add the feature in the driver app which shows them how much of cash drivers own to the ridesharing company.

However, in recent years, many Africans have opted for eWallets or branchless banks like M-Pesa. So, it is also a rational idea to integrate such eWallets in the payment channel.

» Rides should be affordable (No matter what it takes)

Africa is the financially backward continent where the primary needs like transportation are also costly. So to be Jim-dandy in the African market, the most fundamental requirement you have to satisfy is the cost of the ride.

After its initial launch in Kenya, Uber has recently started tweaking its services. And the prime objective of service tweaking is affordability.

They have launched uberCHAPCHAP in Kenya which enables riders to go on short trips by just paying $1. Many local ridesharing companies find other ways to make the rides cost-effective. A South-Africa -based Africa Ride offers a variety of payment options including weekly and monthly plans.

Thus, you are also advised to follow the path of these companies. Seat down and scratch your head to identify possible ways to offer affordable rides. 

How much does it cost to develop a taxi app? and to start taxi booking business in Africa?

Coruscate is the leading taxi app development company which entertains numerous taxi app development related queries. We accommodate a few highly skilled developers and designers who work parallel with the research team to develop one of the most prominent taxi apps.

We will not only develop your app, but we will assist you to solve the business problems we have discussed in this blog including the ways to offer an affordable ride and adding multiple services in the single taxi app.

With our rapid app development technology, we develop and design the taxi app within 45-55 business days and under $10k.

To know more about the features and ask for a free demo with consultation, contact our app scientist and business expert now.


Let’s build your own app

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