Angolan taxi app Kubinga going nationwide after Luanda success

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Angolan taxi app Kubinga is expanding to four other provinces of the country after strong initial uptake in the capital Luanda, and is also targeting other Portuguese-speaking African countries.

A simple app following the Uber model, Kubinga is operating essentially uninhibited by competition in Angola, connecting riders with drivers via its platform.

The startup, which was formed in November of last year and launched its service this January, was recently named winner of the Angolan leg of the Seedstars World competition, and will head to the global final in Switzerland next year to pitch for up to US$1 million in equity investment.

However, Kubinga has more local expansion on its mind after hitting almost 50 registered drivers, 4,300 downloads and 4,500 paid rides in Luanda since its launch, with chief executive officer (CEO) Emerson Paim telling Disrupt Africa it has immediate plans to move into four other provinces in the country – Huila, Huambo, Benguela and Namibe.

“Next year we will be looking for opportunities in African Portuguese-speaking countries, the SADC and more,” he said.

Though in all reality a clone of Uber in a nation in which the global giant is unlikely to launch anytime soon, Kubinga has found a potentially valuable market for itself. Thirteen million Angolans use mobile phones, and there is no other real taxi app active in the market.

“Our main competitor is Allo Taxi, which has a normal taxi service with a reservation application system that doesn´t provide a driver’s present location and does not offer price prediction,” Paim said. “Compared to them, our price is very affordable and our application provides extra features.”

The Kubinga team has self-funded its own growth, which currently stands at 60 per cent month-on-month.

“We have already started a small contract of a merchandise delivery service, which transports domestic cleaning products from a factory straight to the client, on behalf of a telesale company,” Paim said.

Kubinga takes a 25 per cent commission on each completed ride, with Paim saying revenues are increasing with usage and as more drivers come on board.

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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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