According to the world bank, consumer spending plays a large part in Africa’s economic growth, and it is almost 5% higher than the world consumer spending average . Translation, Africans are getting wealthier and they have money to spend. Over the next 50 years, the middle class in Africa is expected to triple to over a billion people, and the Rocket Internet group recognizes this, as is very evident by their recent investments. Rocket internet is a venture capital incubator best known for clowning successful e-commerce businesses found in America, and implementing them in other countries. They successfully cloned Amazon.com in the philippines (lazada.com.ph) and Nigeria (jumia.com.ng). Now they are looking to launch an online taxi booking service in Nigeria. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with over 150 million people, and it boasts the most internet users on the continent, so it is no surprise they picked Nigeria to roll out this service.
The service, Easy Taxi, has already been deployed in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Argentina, Chile, South Korea and Malaysia, and now it is landing in the Nigerian Market. Taxi hailing apps have had very little success in North America accounting for less than 1% of taxi use. However, we think this is a great idea for emerging markets like Nigeria. It is not always the easiest thing to find taxis in Nigeria, especially when you live in gated communities far away from the main roads. Armed with 10 million dollars in funding, the move into Nigeria is expected to be swift, and this has annoyed some Nigerian entrepreneurs who believe that the German based group has used the capital advantage to squash out local competition. No such complaints from consumers, who welcome the professionalism obtained from a well financed business. We tend to agree with the consumers, African entrepreneurs need to learn how to raise capital to grow their businesses, you need innovation to start, but you need capital to grow and if young Nigerians techies want to stay competitive their bank accounts better ……………..stay mobile! (in the right direction ;