- a conversation with Eric Nana Bonsu, representative of inDrive in Ghana
inDrive – a global mobility and urban services platform – has started operating in Ghana. The company currently operates in over 700 cities in 47 countries. A distinctive feature of inDrive is its peer-to-peer pricing model, where the passenger and the driver agree on the fare and other details of the ride directly.
These agreements are final and do not change depending on distance, weather conditions or traffic congestion. The inDrive app has been downloaded over 150 million times, making it the second most downloaded mobility app in the world. The company operates in many African countries, including South Africa, Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, Namibia, etc.
Unlike other ride-hailing companies, inDrive does not use pricing algorithms and does not increase trip fares during rush hours. Once registered, the passenger inputs the A and B points of their route and offers their price for the trip when prompted by the app. Offers from available drivers will pop up on the screen.
The passenger then selects the offer that best suits them in terms of price, driver rating and vehicle model. Drivers can select the requests they accept by passenger rating and user reviews. Drivers always see the destination prior to accepting the ride request. This fair approach to pricing stems from the company’s mission of challenging injustices.
inDrive will not charge a service fee during the first stage of the launch in Accra. This means drivers who join the platform will be able to earn even more. inDrive’s unique business model keeps the company competitive without needing to raise substantial investments. Peer-to-peer pricing, combined with the lowest service fee in the world – under 10 percent without VAT, alongside impactful campaigns, help organically grow brand awareness.
The B&FT sits with Eric Nana Bonsu (ENB), representative of inDrive in Ghana, to discuss what makes the brand unique and why patrons should look at inDrive as the best alternative.
B&FT: Why did you want to enter the Ghana market?
ENB: Headquartered in Mountain View, California, inDrive is a global mobility and urban services platform that operates in more than 700 cities in 47 countries, including around 10 countries in Africa (South Africa, Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, Egypt, Morocco, etc). With a population of over 30 million people, Ghana is an important market and falls under our selection criteria perfectly. Our mission is to challenge injustices, and we are looking to expand to countries where we see potential to improve transport accessibility.
Several international companies are already operating in Accra. They operate according to their standard business model: 1. Drivers are charged with high commissions; 2. Prices for passengers are generated by computerised algorithms. inDrive maintains the lowest service fee in the market – under 10 percent without VAT, and as for the fare of the trip, passengers and drivers agree on the price directly.
B&FT: Does this mean that when a passenger first solicits a service, he does not know how much the trip will cost?
ENB: Absolutely right! That’s what our peer-to-peer model is all about. When a passenger opens our application to request a trip, they’d indicate point A and point B and input the fare they consider appropriate. The driver connected to our platform either accepts this offer, rejects it, or places a counter-offer. This way, the final price is always fair to both parties. This unique business model is what sets us apart from the competition.
B&FT: How many taxis are currently registered with inDrive in Accra?
ENB: We have recently launched our service in Accra and are quickly expanding; so, the figure is changing rapidly. Now our growth is exponential – both in the number of new drivers and in the number of trips. We can see that our service is received warmly by both drivers and passengers, which inspires us and proves we are on the right track.
B&FT: What are your goals in the Ghana market? How much growth do you foresee in Accra?
ENB: Our business goal is to become the №1 player in the market. It is important to emphasise that inDrive today is a marketplace of urban services. In other countries, through our platform, users can send packages and parcels through couriers, arrange for cargo transportation, look for repair specialists such as electricians, carpenters or arrange a lesson with an English language tutor, among other services.
Therefore, the plan for deployment in Accra is simply to establish a strong presence in the ride-hailing market, and then gradually incorporate new services. We want inDrive to be integrated into the lives of the residents of Accra as organically as possible.
We expect a substantial increase in our business indicators. In Accra, people are very sensitive to the cost of rides. Because our business model makes commuting affordable, we can satisfy people’s needs. This is why we believe that there is enormous potential in Accra. We are already growing at a fast pace in other countries in Africa, and we expect growth to be even faster in Accra.
B&FT: Which country and city do you have the most active users?
ENB: Our top three (3) markets are Mexico, Kazakhstan and Egypt. But this list is ever-changing. As for cities, naming the top ones is a complicated task. What I can say is that we are able to work best in cities and countries where there is a strong dominant player, i.e., a monopolist, creating unfair conditions for drivers and passengers. inDrive, on the other hand, offers the most transparent conditions. In many countries, we generally don’t charge commission until we gain a critical mass of users, as is the case in Accra. This translates into higher income for drivers that use our platform.
B&FT: What was the profit of the company in 2021?
ENB: We are unable to disclose all the figures, but I can tell you that our app is the second most downloaded ride hailing app in the world. Secondly, inDrive is probably the only global transportation service that has been operationally profitable since its very first year. In 2022 our total GMV increased 87 percent compared to the previous year. Our valuation exceeds US$1billion and we plan to launch an IPO in 2 years.
inDrive is a global IT and transportation platform. inDrive is one of the world’s fastest growing online ride-hailing services. Its services are available in over 700 cities in 47 countries throughout the world. The company’s app has been downloaded over 150 million times. inDrive offers other services, including intercity transportation, freight and cargo services as well as delivery services in different markets of operations.
inDrive is based in Mountain View, California, operates regional hubs in the Americas, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the countries of the CIS, and employs over 2,400 people. In early 2021, inDrive closed an US$140million investment round with Insight Partners, General Catalyst, and Bond Capital.