Women are not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia.
While there is no official law banning women from the act, it is deeply held religious beliefs that prohibit it. As a result, various solutions arise; from women being driven around by a male family member to hiring a trusted driver.
In September Wamda met Kaspercab. Founded in 2015 by KAUST PhD student Tariq Alturkestani, the service launched in beta in August 2016. The service aims to solve the issue of working women getting to the office through carpooling.
Currently only operating in Saudi’s port city of Jeddah, Alturkestani has been trialling the app and is working on ironing out various wrinkles. They have about 100 clients thus far with 160 rides daily. During this testing period, Alturkestani told Wamda that one of the problems they faced was getting customers used to Saudi drivers, something they are previously not accustomed to as most drivers in the kingdom are foreign workers.
They recently won a subsidiary grant from a government agency and are hoping to reach 400 women by the end of November.
Startups have the plight of Saudi women in their sights, as at GITEX in Dubai last week the ‘best Arab startup’ prize went to Sawwagy, a family driver management system from Saudi Arabia. So Kaspercab best get moving, the competition is watching their success.