Little shuttle, SWVL cry foul over pressure to shut down operations in Kenya

Ride-hailing tech firm, little shuttle is under immense pressure to close down its business by October 1.

According to the Little shuttle CEO Kamal Budhabhatti, he received communication from the government to wind up the business over claims that the shuttle was not dully registered.

“We have been informed that the licence our partners use are not the right ones despite being properly registered,” he said on his social media post.

According to Budhabhatti, despite hailing from their partners that are properly registered, the directive indicated that they were operating on a wrong licences.

The CEO has warned that the move to halt their operations will lead to mass loss of jobs by riders who eke a living from their services.

He wondered what led to the move, saying Little Shuttle is a departure from the madness witnessed on Kenyan roads. He has appealed to the government to invite them for dialogue with technology firms out to change the face of the country’s transport sector.

“It is high time the government held dialogue with tech firms like Little to bring sanity in the sector,” he said.

The CEO has warned that the move to halt their operations will lead to mass loss of jobs by riders who eke a living from their services.

He wondered what led to the move, saying Little Shuttle is a departure from the madness witnessed on Kenyan roads. He has appealed to the government to invite them for dialogue with technology firms out to change the face of the country’s transport sector.

“It is high time the government held dialogue with tech firms like Little to bring sanity in the sector,” he said.

Little’s latest investment adds to Sh1 billion capital injection it has so far received since inception from its parent tech firm Craft Silicon and other un-named shareholders. Kenya’s biggest telco Safaricom has no stake in Little but it is the firm’s technology and marketing partner.

Budhabatti also claimed their woes could be as a result of pressure from cartels in the transport sector who could be out to frustrate and drive them out of business.

The little shuttle is an e-shuttle system that allows riders to book a seat and board at specific times starting 6:45am on week days, with a frequency of every two hours.

The service is targeted at riders who would otherwise use their personal cars to move around the city.

In recent months Little saw its business surge when it partnered with some matatu saccos to onboard there buses to the application.

“At the press of a button, you can book a shuttle that is clean and safe, a shuttle without hassle, exactly how an ideal mass transport should be,” said Budhabhatti.

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Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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