Kenya’s TabAds raises funding for in-cab digital advertising model

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Kenyan startup TabAds, launched in November, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding as it looks to establish its advertising model, which places tablets in taxis running interactive content and adverts.

TabAds provides tablets and places them behind headrests in cabs, and through an automated process controls these tablets to stream movies and music, and display interactive content to passengers.

“When you ride next, you will not just ride in style and comfort, but you’ll enjoy your favourite music, videos, news, sports, offers, hyperlocal content and more. TabAds features state-of-the-art in-vehicle entertainment tablets and complimentary premium content for every taste. On multi-hour rides, you’ll be amazed by how time flies when you sit back, relax and immerse yourself in a great entertainment,” Patrick Cheruiyot, TabAds chief executive officer (CEO) and founder, told Disrupt Africa.

The startup is still piloting its model, with the aim of proving the concept and getting some customer validation. At the moment, it is monitoring around 500 rides each day.

“TabAds is here to serve businesses,” Cheruiyot said. “We believe that for too long in Nairobi, outdoor advertising has been limited to billboards and other forms of advertising that are stationary, with a relatively low and unmeasurable ROI, and very hard to track.”

Cheruiyot’s vision is to provide an entertaining and an interactive platform with measurable ROI and tangible results.  

“Many B2B businesses tend to steer away from outdoor marketing due to its lack of unique targeting, and we are bound to change that. Notably, taxi riders are a premium audience and a perfect fit for B2B  businesses. They are tech-savvy individuals with credit cards and smartphones,” he said.

“By using our tablets to advertise, the adverts of our clients reach a well-targeted market. We are Kenya’s first in-cab digital advertising platform.”

Early this month, the startup closed a seed funding round from local angel investment network Foresight Ventures, and Cheruiyot said the startup does plan to expand in future.

“Our key focus is the East African market, though we are also looking at the West African market, starting with Nigeria and Ghana, because they have a lot of similarities with Nairobi, such as the growing middle class and the increasing rate of cab usage,” he said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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