Following the entry of Uber, digital ride-hailing or e-hailing platforms have quickly become a mainstay in many African markets, reshaping the way we think about personal mobility and work in the transport sector. By 2019, 81 e-hailing platforms were in operation across eight countries in Africa (insight2impact, 2020), with over half of these having only entered the market in the past year. Moreover, homegrown players such as SafeBoda and LittleCab have been shown to rival global players on African soil, raising the levels of competition in the industry.
The growth in e-hailing operations in Africa is consistent with the large-scale funding that these platforms have managed to achieve: USD131 million in venture capital has been raised by e-hailing start-ups since 2015.
However, the sustainability of e-hailing platforms is coming under question, and as Africa grapples with the COVID-19 crisis, platform margins have come under immense pressure. Some e-hailing platforms have responded by rapidly readjusting their offering, leveraging their last-mile delivery networks to pivot into logistics and courier services, for instance.
In the next edition of our Building Inclusive Digital Economies webinar series, we explored with experts:
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