Ride-Hailing in Nigeria: Can GidiCab successfully compete with Bolt & Uber?

Ride-hailing services in Nigeria

Just recently, owners of Nigerian Social Media Twitter handle, ‘@GidiTraffic’ (a traffic update handle) announced the launch of its latest service – a ride-on application called GidiCab. GidiCab will compete for market share with the likes of Bolt, Uber, and OgaTaxi in the ride-hailing market.

The Nigerian ride-hailing industry is a hard nut to crack. The first ride-hailing platform in Nigeria, built by Nigerians, “AfroCab”, launched in 2014 with great expectations, but after facing challenges and rough paths, they packed up.

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Payment struggles, security, cultural and other infrastructural challenges have made the industry a very difficult one to penetrate.

GidiCab’s Uniqueness

For a new establishment to stand a chance of survival in an already competitive market, it needs to be unique and must stand out. GidiCab found a way to make its service unique with features like live billing, wallet pay, Trip borrowing, insane discount to “homezone” locations. The app has a wallet feature that allows its riders to use the Cab without having to worry about topping up their debit cards. The first of its kind.

On the GidiCab app, users can ride even when they don’t have cash on their debit card or their wallet on the app. They also offer discounted rides for trips in locations tagged “homezone”.

Uber and Bolt’s Dominance

Bolt (formally Taxify) is a dominant player in the ride-hailing ecosystem, not just in African cities, but in major parts of Europe. They have the financial resources to compete in any market they present in, which, unfortunately, GidiCab doesn’t have at its disposal.

Just last year, Bolt raised $175 million (₦63.1 billion) from a German multinational automotive corporation to further improve their ride-hailing technology and improve ride-hailing experience in Europe and Africa. With this investment, Bolt reached the $1 billion valuation.

Uber on the other hand raised $600 million (₦216.1 billion) in an undisclosed funding round in May last year. Uber is currently valued at $50 billion and in roughly 3 years, has raised $21.7 billion till date.

These big investments have given both companies (Bolt & Uber) an edge, especially in the areas of customer acquisition. They attract customers and drivers with incentive, bonuses etc. For instance, Bolt currently gives free rides worth up to ₦20,000 to new customers. Uber sometimes gives up to %50 price slash on rides.

All these are strategies that can only be backed by heavy finance and GidiCab doesn’t look like it has the resources to play that money game.

However, GidiCab have cool features on their app and hopefully they can attract customers and take a share of the market.