An easy ride-hailing platform

Creating a convenient way to get safe transportation

24 September 2021 | Others

Pull quote: “Being an entrepreneur is one of the most exciting and fulfilling ways to live. It's also super hard.”

Wetumwene Shikage

The everyday experience for many Namibians of getting a taxi to from different locations has been made more convenient. TaxiConnect provides an easy and efficient way to request a taxi around Windhoek.

TaxiConnect's mobile application allows users to find nearby taxis and track their driver on their route to the pickup location. By using existing GPS features in smartphones, user location is accurate enough for drivers to deliver rides faster. The application is led by the tech-savvy and innovative minds of co-founders Reinhold Shiwagala and Dominique Kanyik.

The business became fully functional in September 2020. Within four months after launching, the founders were able to complete over 3 000 safe, reliable and convenient trips on the platform with a 10% growth rate.

Having a taxi sector that always struggled with issues of safety and convenience, the founders felt the need for improving the taxi industry's use of technology.

Safety being one of the key causes of anxiety when hailing a taxi on the street encouraged the birth of this application.

“Having been a victim of being molested by a taxi driver as a teenager, to the point where I had to flee and run for my life, is a constant motivator in me to help evolve our taxi industry for future generations by using technology to hold taxi drivers accountable and providing customers with a platform to easily remember their drivers in case of any incident that may occur,” says Shiwagala.

The importance of giving back to the community is at the top of TaxiConnect’s priorities. “The fact that we have a chance to enhance the lives of others around us gives us the assurance that we are giving back to the community. We intend on implementing new ways to empower young people as they are tomorrow's leaders, and outstanding leadership starts at a young age,” says Shiwagala.

Moving forward

Knowing that safety is a concern throughout the entire country gives the founders a desire to expand quicker. “This is because the issues faced by taxi commuters in Windhoek, where we are currently operating, are remarkably similar to those faced by taxi passengers in other towns.”

In the past months, TaxiConnect has been working on a nationwide scalable system architecture. They encourage users to keep an eye on their social media outlets for updates on the expansion to new towns.

TaxiConnect is currently available in Windhoek, where users make use of the TaxiConnect mobile application to request a taxi. When a nearby driver accepts the request, the app displays an estimated time of arrival for the driver heading to your pickup location with the driver’s profile and car picture with its taxi number. The app notifies when the driver is about to arrive.

Accomplishments

Some of our accomplishments listed by Shiwagala include: having 10 000 downloads within the first six months after introduction; over 40 000 successful safe, reliable, and convenient trips completed and winning the seed capital, mentoring, and coaching as one of the five Sanlam Bridge winners. Some of the challenges are obtaining an investment to help scale nationwide and find legitimate taxis.

Measuring success comes from customer satisfaction and other customer-related statistics. These include trips made in one day, overall rating, acceptance rate, cancellation rate, fare reviews per trip, total one-star ratings, total five-star ratings which are important KPIs.

Shiwagala advises those who wish to become entrepreneurs that they are not alone. “Even though there are many different paths to becoming an entrepreneur, all will require some serious dedication and focus on your path forward because entrepreneurship is a journey, not a destination. It comes with a lot of challenges you never thought you would face, those challenges make you a better leader,” he says.

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