Bolt is looking to expand its space in the ride-hailing business with the introduction of tricycle into its variance. The Estonian company has launched tricycle services in Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom State.
OPay’s OTrike was the first to embrace the tricycle in ride-sharing business and it is dominant in the southeast. Earlier this month, Bolt has introduced ‘multiple destinations and multiple passengers to one trip’ to ride-sharing options.
As the competition gets stiffer, Bolt is exploring other ways to rake in revenue and stay in business at a time when some others are joining the ride-sharing venture. The company is creating a space for those who can’t afford the taxi ride-hailing services. Bolt has successfully applied the method in a couple of east African cities and it is the first global e-hailing service to adopt tricycle into its fleet in a bid to entice low paying riders.
“At Bolt, we will continue to find innovative ways to cater to local demand for popular services,” said Bolt country manager, Femi Akin-Luguda. “We are thrilled to introduce the tricycle service in Uyo. We believe that it resonates well with the culture in this city and that this category will provide an easy and affordable transportation option for trips around Uyo.”
Tricycles seating up to three passengers have become a popular means of transportation in Nigerian cities. But safety has always been an issue leaving many riders to the inclination toward rides that give them a sense of security. Bolt is applying the same security measures it has successfully used in taxi-hailing across some cities in the country.
“We have already built the biggest ride-sharing platform in Nigeria for cars and the knowledge we have gained in that endeavor gives us a significant advantage in taking on the unique transportation challenges in all the cities where we operate. Tricycles in Uyo is the first step in this direction as we intend to bring a renewed effort to solving local problems with globally tested solutions,” Akin-Lugada added.
However, Bolt is going to face stiff competition from OTrike that has won many riders in Aba and Enugu, and appears ready to expand its operations to the south-south.
Meanwhile, MooveTV, a Nigerian advertising tech startup that offers entertainment to riders of public transportation (taxis and buses) is poised to keep Lagos commuters entertained on trips.
The startup was launched in December 2019 to provide succor to passengers who easily got worn out on trips due Lagos traffic. The platform offers entertainment ranging from music, movies, games, podcasts and live TVs, all for free. While these contents on public transport vehicles are not new, MooveTV came with a different vibe. The contents are designed to be streamed live giving riders a wide array of contents to make their choices of entertainment.
Since neither the driver or passenger pays for the content, in between the streaming, ads will be served. Drivers get paid for allowing the contents to be served through their vehicles.
“With MooveTV, the driver earns 20% of the revenue on every ad played to riders in their vehicles. The owner of the content also gets 30% while MooveTV takes the rest. In other cases, where there is a broker, they take 5% too.” MooveT Product Lead, Emmanuel Pastor told TechNext.
The tech is installed in cars and synced to display once the driver turns on the ignition to avoid arbitrary use of the contents. When the reception is poor, contents can be played offline via the storage system of the TV device, where pre-loaded contents are stored.
When there is poor signal, the device notifies the rider and prompts the offline option. The MooveTV devices are connected to a central database where contents are played or streamed from.
So far, there are about 70 users on board the MooveTV platform, but the company is hoping to expand its reach through partnership with Lagos State Government. Currently, the platform is only available on taxis, but the company plans on adding mobile and web versions before March to enable riders enjoy the streaming experience outside vehicles.