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Cape Town on Thursday received a new competitor to Uber and Taxify in the form of Russian ride-hailing service inDriver.
The company, headquartered in New York and founded in 2013 in Siberia, has some 20-million users globally, across 200 cities and 14 countries.
But unlike Uber and Taxify where route rates are fixed and predetermined, inDriver users can set their own fair for a selected route, which adds an element of bargaining.
“Nearby drivers are sent the destination and proposed fare, which they have the ability to accept or the option to bargain for more money,” the company clarifies in a press release.
“Pre-approved rates in the app give guidance, but the final fare is set by the passenger and driver in a real-time negotiation.”
For drivers, there’s an incentive too. The company waives commission charges within the first six months of service, while all trips are paid in cash.
“After the six month period, our commission will be around 5-8%, much lower than in other ride-hailing services operating in the country,” the company’s PR manager Mikhail Zaytsev told Memeburn in an email.
Commission is also paid per ride, and not on an hourly basis.
“Unlike its competitors, inDriver is focused on providing fair compensation to drivers, and provides them the opportunity to preview routes before accepting a fare,” the company explained further in an earlier press release.
“In essence, drivers are given more control over the destinations they accept without fear of penalty.”
While the service launches in Cape Town today, Tanzania became the first African country to welcome inDriver in 2018.
“We recently established our regional office in Cape Town, so for us it was a natural choice to start our expansion in South Africa with this city,” Zaytsev noted.
“People love using taxis in Cape Town but they are sick and tired of high fares and all kinds of surge pricing. We came to give them, both to passengers and drivers, freedom of choice and prevent unfair price manipulation,” he added when asked why the company chose Cape Town as its first destination in South Africa.
He noted that inDriver has plans “to roll-out our service to other big South African cities” but added that he cannot “disclose more details at the moment.”
Editor’s note: the article has been updated with information about driver commission, as well as plans for rollout across South Africa.
Feature image: inDriver