To the end of last year, there were reports of Uber launching in Kenya when it announced vacant posts for its operations in the capital Nairobi. Now, the date of the launch is set and my countdown reads one more day to January 22, 2015.
The San Francisco based online taxi-hailing service will be making its entry into Kenya this week, and through a partnership with Online restaurant service platform EatOut Kenya, will be offering complimentary taxi rides to Uber users.
EatOut Kenya is having its Nairobi Restaurant Week 2015, a ten-day restaurant festival where Kenyans will be able to enjoy meals at fixed prices of KSh 2000 and KSh 1500 at any of 50 top restaurants in the capital beginning January 22 to February first.
With the collaboration, Uber will be offering KSh 2000 off two rides during the festival ,being promoted under #nrw2015, to users wanting to enjoy the promotion. Interested Kenyans will be required to download the Uber app compatible with iOS, Android and Windows, and use the NRW2015 promotion code.
Uber, the mobile application that seeks to connect riders to taxi drivers with the touch of a button will be joining the market currently enjoyed by Easy Taxi – a Rocket Internet backed service and MaraMoja transport among others.
It is no doubt that Uber is expected to do well in the country, especially with the popularity it has gained among Kenyans for the longest time without even being locally available. It will be coming to answer a call that Kenya has been waiting for, as Easy Taxi continue to give users a reason to look the other way.
Kenya will be the fourth country in Africa to receive the San Francisco company, with Uber having made its very first entry into the continent in 2013 when it launched in South Africa and later in Nigeria and Egypt.
According to EatOut Kenya, Uber could not have chosen a better time to bring in its services than the #nrw2015 since a large number of people are expected to take advantage of the promotion and with specials on wines and cocktails, revelers will definitely need a ride to the restaurants and back home.
The local restaurant discovery service, through which Kenyans can find good places to dine, has been doing really well in the market and this promotion joins others that have benefited users such as the 2012 free Wazi WiFi service in restaurants and the 2013 Lipa na M-pesa service through Safaricom and Kopo kopo.
Despite the popularity Uber has garnered, it is not all for good reasons as the taxi service has managed to anger traditional cab drivers and recently attracted a lot of negative issues in various cities varying from invasion of privacy of user’s data to people fearing of greater possible extortion.