SafeMotos launched in Rwanda in 2015, giving commuters the convenience of hailing a motorbike taxi from the convenience of their phone.
The SafeMotos app works like the Uber app where the commuter inserts their travel destination and their pickup point and request for a motorbike taxi. Unlike other motorbike taxis operating in Rwanda, SafeMotos goes a step further to assure commuters of their safety; as you would imagine riding on the two wheel vehicle comes with greater risks compared to a car taxi.
SafeMotos riders are vetted and the system is designed to push risk-taking riders at the fringes of the system through a rating system. Riders who have been involved in accidents due to their negligence get rated poorly thus reducing their chances of getting picked by the next commuter to use the SafeMotos app.
The company recently announced it is expanding into the neighboring country of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as part of its Africa expansion drive while targeting the underserved markets.
While addressing Disrupt Africa, the co-founder and CEO of SafeMotos, Barrett Nash, said, “We are expanding into Kinshasa later this year with a partner that has more than 50 years experience in DRC. We will be doing a USSD-based system for customers, be in a bigger market, and do taxi cabs, taxi motos, and on-demand services.”
Kinshasa is estimated to currently house 10 million people, yet the city was designed for a population of thousands, not millions. As you can imagine moving such a huge population around the city leads to serious traffic jam. The good thing with motorbike taxis is that they take up less space on the roads, and can easily find their way through a stand-still traffic jam.
The startup also recently introduced female riders to its platform and is currently working on a feature that will match female commuters only to the female riders.