Uber recently launched a new service in Nairobi called Uber Chap Chap. Chap Chap is a Swahili slang meaning “hurry hurry”.
They started testing the service in January 2018. If successful, it will then get launched in Uganda and Tanzania. The East Africa general manager Loic Amado told Reuters. Uber Chap Chap is currently available in a few selected areas of Nairobi.
The fuel-efficient service will use sedans secured through a deal with CMC motors. A car dealership with a presence in Kenya and Uganda. Under the partnership, Uber secured 300 Suzuki Altos.
It then offered these sedans to it’s highly rated drivers on the platform. Though with financing from Stanbic Bank Kenya. This will allow the drivers to own the cars after three years.
The smallest cost for a Chap Chap ride on the service is 3,600 Ugandan shillings (about 99 US.Cents). Which is more affordable compared to 5,328 shillings ($1.48) for UberX.
In Uganda, Taxify, Quick Taxi and Friendship Taxi offer affordable rates like UberX. But with Chap Chap, the company will have a new dimension to compete.
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Uber Eats is a food delivery service like Jumia Food. So far, it has worked well in Cities like Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town in South Africa. Though, it is already looking to hire a General Manager for it’s Cairo Office. Plus, there’s a rumour it might launch in Kenya later this year.
The trend has always been that if a product launches in Kenya, Nigeria or Egypt, it is likely to launch in Uganda. Take examples of UberX, Andela, Jumia and other internet services.
So, the Uber Chap Chap piloting in Nairobi will definitely move to Kampala earlier than Uber Eats. This is due to the proximity of the markets. As compared to Uber Eats that’s to launch in Egypt as the first African market outside South Africa.
Though, it shouldn’t go without noting; Uber Chap Chap has left a bad feeling with UberX drivers in Nairobi. They claim that Uber is trying to take them out of business with the introduction of Chap Chap. Which also implies that if the Chap Chap service succeeds, Uber might do away with the UberX.