Car app fight club in Egypt

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The market for tech-enabled transport in Egypt is tight: 13 companies are offering some kind of online ride hailing product.

All of these companies are targeting the same population: broadly, the 23 million or so Egyptians who have a smartphone, or about a quarter of the country’s population.

Those coveted smartphone users are not all in Cairo, obviously, and only a percentage (one we’ll leave to better mathematicians to estimate) will be able to afford and access these services. A smaller percentage again will be so inclined to use them. Still, if they’re developing new users rather than stealing each other’s, that’s a big market.

Finally, 12 of these companies are going up against Uber, which is already a world-infamous brand and in August 2016 earmarked 500 million Egyptian pounds (US$27.6 million) for Egypt alone.

Already the sector has killed off at least four. There’s not room for them all.

The taxi hailers

Easy Taxi (Brazil): launched in Egypt October 2013

Uber (USA): launched in Egypt November 2014

Careem (UAE): launched in Egypt December 2014

Ousta: launched March 2016

Taxi Plus: launched December 2016

Taxify (Estonia): launched in Egypt March 2017

PQ: launched April 2017

(We have heard of five others, but couldn’t confirm whether they still exist).

The bus disrupters

Tawseela: launched December 2013

Buseet: launched August 2016

Kalax: launched February 2017

Swvl: launched March 2017

The car poolers

Raye7: launched 2014

Go-Go-Car: launched October 2016

The innovator

In 1853 Levi Strauss travelled to the California gold fields to make his fortune. He ended his days a millionaire - not because he struck gold, but because he sold dry goods, and then his famous jeans, to miners. The lesson being don’t follow the crowd, sell to the crowd.

Outside our array of 13 strivers seeking their fortune in Egypt’s tech-transport sector, there’s one Levi Strauss.

Wadeeny: launched in 2011 as a carpooling app

Today Wadeeny is an aggregator. It’ll search all the different apps for the best price and book your ride through its interface. It may not last - we can’t see Uber or Careem taking kindly to this. But right now it’s the One App To Rule Them All.

Are you using an app that’s not on this list? Let us know.

Faeture image via Wiki Voyage: Alexandrian taxis.

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