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Taxify, Uber scramble for Kenya's middle class market

Taxify, Uber scramble for Kenya's middle class market

Uber and Taxify have launched an executive premium tier to strengthen their offering and compete for a greater share of Kenya's growing middle class market.

UberSELECT offers 'entry level' luxury cars for special occasions and events. Drivers rated 4.7 and above who have completed at least 300 trips are allowed to offer the service.

Users will have to pay extra for the service with the minimum fare set at Kshs 300 shillings compared to UberX at Kshs 200.

Uber has classified Toyota Axio (2010), Fielder (2010), Prius (2009), Sienta (2009), Noah (2008), Wingroad (2010), Subaru Forester (2008) Honda Airwave (2009) as part of its UberSELECT cars.

The taxi hailing firm's competition Taxify has also confirmed an increase in demand for premium services.

Speaking at the launch of Taxify Comfort, Lorreen Ajiambo, Taxify Marketing Manager, says, "Nairobi has a growing middle class that continuously demands premium services and is happy to pay more to get higher rated drivers and newer vehicles. The growing Nairobi middle class and upper middle class is the primary target. These are people who want a premium service whether it's for everyday rides, business trips or special occasions."

The current base fare for Taxify Comfort is set at Kshs 250.

"The number of rides we complete increases by about 20-40% month on month. The number of hours drivers spend online driving with Taxify has tripled over the last six months," Ajiambo said.

"Taxify has been the top traveller's app in Nairobi for the past 69 days. Last weekend, Taxify was the most downloaded app in all categories in the Apple App Store (according to App Annie)," she added.

Uber and Taxify have been on a price war that has resulted in complaints of low earnings by drivers.

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