Competing with deep-pocketed competitors by leveraging social networks, Kenya’s UTU, the company that runs Maramoja, a trust-based taxi hailing app, has been chosen to participate in in Zeroth’s global accelerator programme. The startup has also raised an undisclosed amount of financing from Zeroth and its Venture Partners.
Maramoja’s niche lies in the fact that when one calls for a taxing using its app, users get drivers are who have been recommended through their friends, friends of friends and the broader network.
Launched in early 2015, the company has signed contracts with about 24 countries throughout Africa to bring its taxi app franchise to those markets. Founder and CEO Jason Eisen presses that his company thinks of drivers as people and as individuals with relationships and clients, instead of commodities.
He ardently believes that human trust is the fuel that would drive digital businesses. He reckons, “The current state of digital trust is really sad, our whole system is based on star ratings and anonymous reviews that have little to do with how people actually trust – based on their close relationships and people they know personally. At UTU, our mission has always been to bring this human model of trust to the digital economy.”
Expressing his intention to take Maramoja’s solution to the global market, Zeroth Founder Tak Lo said, “They’ve assembled a word-class team and already demonstrated that their tech works Africa’s biggest sharing economy platforms. We’re excited to work with them”. This stands to be Zeroth’s first African Investment.