By: Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb Senior News Journalist
Bargain-your-ride e-taxi service inDriver has become the first ride-sharing app in South Africa to make the use of mobile data free of charge for its users.
The US, California-headquartered company says it will cover the cost for all mobile data that users consume when using the application. This is part of the company’s mission to increase access to digital technologies and help bridge the digital divide in its countries of operation.
The Uber and Bolt rival made its SA debut in 2019. It entered the African market in Tanzania in 2018, and has since expanded its reach to 10 African cities across five African countries, including Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria.
Currently, the company operates in nine local cities – Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Gqeberha, East London, Pietermaritzburg, Rustenburg and Polokwane.
Vincent Lilane, business development representative of inDriver, explains: “Thanks to our partnership with the leading mobile operator MTN, we can provide people with the opportunity to use our service to the fullest, offer and receive the services they need at fair prices and not worry about needing WiFi to use it”.
While the company has a strategic collaboration with MTN, it says it covers the use of data costs of the big four telecom operators, (Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, Telkom Mobile), whose combined market share in SA is 99%.
InDriver was founded in the US in 2013, to provide users with a viable alternative to services from taxi aggregators with inflexible pricing policies.
The service does not offer standard rates for rides but it operates based on a unique peer-to-peer pricing principle, which allows passengers and drivers to directly negotiate a fare. This ensures that terms are as transparent and fair as possible, according to the company.
While inDriver declined to share insights on its performance in SA with ITWeb, the company claims to be the world’s fastest-growing ride-hailing service. It says its app has been downloaded more than 150 million times, with the service now available in 645+ cities across 45 countries.
In early 2021, inDriver achieved unicorn status after closing a $150 million investment round with Insight Partners, General Catalyst, and Bond Capital, which valued the company at $1.23 billion.
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