The growth of technology depends on how digital citizens are leveraging on it, meet Twende a technology riding sharing service with over 10,000 users using it on daily basis. The goal of Twende is to solve logistics barriers in rural and urban areas. Twende Technologies Limited helps you get a verified, reliable and qualified safe driver to facilitate your journey. Twende was established in 2017.
Justin Kashagili the co-founder of Twende Technologies Limited shared with Tech & Media Convergency (TMC) in an interview about their services, the setbacks and digital solutions applied along the way to run their operations. Twende’s tagline is reliable rides in Rural and Urban areas because we managed to enabled all users of smartphones and featured phones to access Twende, they are located at Kijitonyama, in Dar es Salaam.
The Attended Gap and Inspiration Behind
The core problem, Justin wanted to solve is easing Transportation services in his community between riders and drivers, during his university days.
Justin shares that the research conducted in 2014 focused on understanding transport barriers that exists to taxi drivers and passengers, he discovered that the Taxi drivers were charging expensive amounts of money to riders, another challenge was the existence of accidents because taxi drivers were not licensed and having no maximum experience, single mode of payment was also another obstacle because passengers only paid in cash compared to now where people use mobile money to make payments.
When it comes to the inspiration Justin says, “As a tech-survey, the purpose was to use technology in innovating a reliable transport product that would be convenient for riders and drivers and we can now say that has been achieved by having more than 10,000 users of our product on daily basis, by the end of 2021 we are targeting to reach 10% of Tanzanians in the country, since we are operating in five regions already.”
Startup Capital and Investment
Twende was fortunate to have a Value-added service contract with Tigo for two years that helped in facilitation of their operations, along the journey they were also able to raise more than 25,000 US Dollars, a grant that was provided in a challenge known as Data for local impact.
User interface and Service
“We have two apps, one for riders and another for passengers and they are all available to android users and iOS users, ways used to market our products are the google ads, social media ads which helps in making our customers convert those ads to downloads and the media.
How Twende app works with drivers differs from passengers, the drivers register on the driver’s app, attach the required documents such as the National ID, driver’s license then they get in contact with personnel from Twende Team, to see whether they are credible or not, if they are then they are good start.
For the Twende passenger’s app, one registers and immediately after doing so they are able to view the drivers available on the map based on their locations, then they can request for a ride by putting their pick-up location and destination point, soon the nearest driver can contact them, once the ride is complete the passenger can either pay through cash or mobile money.
Eco-System Positioning and Achievement
Justin says that Twende differentiates itself from the rest of the players in the following ways, “One Twende can be accessed online and offline, it is also available in urban and rural areas, we also have an additional e-commerce service, one can book an air or bus ticket, they can also deliver food and parcels to a company or an individual.”
Speaking about the achievements Twende has accomplished, He says “Having a product with more than 10,000 people using it on daily basis is one among the achievements we are proud of, another achievement is making Twende accessible to people in rural areas, we look forward in having Twende available in all Sub-Saharan countries and since we are solving transport barriers in Tanzania, we believe we can solve that as well to Sub-Saharan countries.”
What to improve
Justin tells us earlier on his business the biggest challenge was capital, because they needed it to help run media campaigns for the purpose of increasing brand recognition, customer engagement, driving sales and expanding their audience.
“Twende team has more than 12 people and although we run our daily operations, we still face challenges when it comes to increasing the investment capital, we have made an analysis of how much is needed therefore would really appreciate if we can get funds to enhance and maximize our services.”
Covid-19 Impact and Next Step
Twende has been impacted positively, because during the pandemic people feared public transports because of the congestion of passengers and therefore opted to use private transports or riding sharing services like Twende. Twende benefited more than once because any rider of Twende has the advantage of getting other services such as food and parcel deliveries, booking of air and bus tickets as well.
Justin says, “Our target is to go beyond our country’s borders by offering affordable prices, reliable and well vetted drivers across all Sub-Saharan Countries and we believe it is achievable.”
A Word of Advice
Justin had a few words to Innovators and initiatives that are promoting Technology. Her says, “Most innovators tend to give up early on, in their product, but they should know that as innovator things take time, commit and work hard on it do not expect your product to pay you back in period of six months or a year, patience is the key and also to investors they need to start believing and shifting the focus from older innovators to young innovators.”
“What Tech & Media Convergency (TMC) is doing is promising to innovators and the tech industry, as ambassadors they can keep on using their platform through their project of promoting impact technology Tanzania to inform the masses of the number of solutions done in Tanzania because most of Tanzanians are unaware of these digital solutions that have taken and are still taking place.” He adds
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Tech & Media Convergency (TMC)