inDriver is eating into Uber and Bolt (formerly Taxify) domains when it comes to ride-hailing in Africa: “inDriver is an international Internet aggregator of passenger, freight and intercity transportation services”. This Russian startup is demonstrating that business model innovation can win markets and territories at scale. That model is simply the centuries-old price haggling which continues to be used in African commerce and markets. Yes, inDriver allows the rider to name his or her price for the driver to accept or counter-offer until they reach equilibrium.
But over the past seven months, inDriver, a five-year old Russian ride-hailing company, has gone from launching in its first African city to operating in four. Since launching in Arusha, Tanzania last November, inDriver has expanded to Nairobi, Johannesburg and Cape Town. The company says it aims to enter cities in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Namibia next
Unlike the established model for ride-hailing startups which typically includes estimated fares and automatic pairing between drivers and riders, inDriver is differentiating itself with the element of increased choice. It allows riders propose fares for their trips (based on pre-approved rates) after which nearby drivers who receive notice of the ride request can accept the rate or respond with counter-offers. A prospective rider then picks a preferred driver based on their agreed fare or driver rating.