Mobile-operated taxi service Zapacab is going to officially shut its doors in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Nairobi within a week.
After operating for almost a year, the company has put its mobile taxi-hailing software up for sale, and is closing its doors. It was previously suggested that the whole company was up for sale, and pending a buyer would have seen the company stay open.
Zapacab CEO Rupert Sully has confirmed to htxt.africa that regardless of finding a buyer, the service would not be carrying on. “All operations will be haltered regardless, and we will switch off the service within the week. The sale will be for the software, either for use in taxis or in other industries where the geo-mobile services can be used.”
But he hinted that the Zapacab name could also be up for sale. “Both are being discussed. These are closed sales enquiries and none might take place.”
Zapacab has encountered a number of difficulties operating in a market dominated by Uber and Snappcab, but Sully said the biggest challenge that they had was mobile penetration. Zapacab requires that drivers make use of an Android smartphone, and will assist drivers in obtaining one if they don’t have one already – and that is where the problem came in.
“Smartphone penetration among drivers and payments were two large hurdles for us,” Sully explained. While Uber dominates the mobile taxi-for-hire service in South Africa, Sully reiterated that it wasn’t the competition that forced them to close.
“There is a lot of market share to go around. Anything that educates the market towards innovative solutions is good right now for all.”