Stage 4: Transition to Scale
SafeBoda launched its mobile app and packaged approach with 20 drivers in November 2014 in Kampala. A high demand from drivers to join the community emerged rapidly and by the end of June 2015, the company grew to 100 trained and equipped drivers serving a minimum of 1,500 customers per day. The SafeBoda app, while still in its infant stages of development, has been downloaded over 1,000 times across its Android and iOS platforms. 100% of our drivers are consistently wearing the helmet and we already see an increase in passenger helmet adoption from 0% to 30%.
By utilizing an approach that focuses on safety and security from both the supply and demand side, the company benefits drivers and passengers directly and indirectly. SafeBoda's approach allows both passengers with smartphones (online) and without smartphones (offline) to access the service, pushing the boundaries of our addressable market to include all commuters in Kampala and this includes a majority of citiziens who earn less than 4 USD/day. In a country that is estimated to have the highest rate of unemployment in Africa and where 78% of its citizens are under the age of 30, driving a boda has emerged as a necessary if dangerous work opportunity in Uganda. Boda drivers represent a key demographic in urban areas in Kampala. Through the company, SafeBoda drivers - men between the ages of 18 and 45 - will directly benefit from safer working conditions.
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Funds Raised to Date
SafeBoda is a service that trains cohorts of drivers with safety as a priority and offers a mobile application to connect users and drivers. SafeBoda uses branded orange safety equipment, providing helmets for both passengers and drivers. DIV Stage 1 funding is supporting the deployment of 1,225 additional drivers and supporting Kampala-wide market penetration.
How does your innovation work?
In our current city of operation, Kampala, it is impossible to find a driver with a passenger helmet. Most passengers reluctantly take this option and are unsafe. Safety conscious individuals inconveniently resort to carrying their own helmet with them wherever they go. Alternatively they spend more money and time (due to terrible traffic jams) on minibuses or taxi cars. The package we offer to customers and drivers is unique in Africa, and arguably across low and middle-income countries. While our app provides a seamless and convenient user-experience, we focus on the broader package of safety, security and trust - the underlying demands of customers. We select and heavily invest in our drivers - we train them in first-aid, road safety, customer service and motorbike maintenance. We also innovate on driver-customer trust with branding and information on both parties.
Planned Goals and Milestones
Increase helmets adoption by 70% among passengers and 100% among drivers.
Increase boda drivers revenues by 50%.
Have 30% of all boda trips booked through the app, with passengers having the ability to rate drivers.
SafeBoda looks to use the grant to validate its market-based approach in Kampala to determine its viability to scale to cities throughout the developing world. With the assistance of DIV in a 12-month period, SafeBoda will be able to expand its model on a citywide scale - ramping up operations to 1,200 trained and equipped drivers and in turn, providing safe transport to 25,000 passengers each day. In addition, SafeBoda will evaluate the possibility to offer its service to all commuters at a reduced price than the market rate.