Time really does fly especially when you realise that Uber has been operating in Sub-Saharan Africa for five years this month.

The ride sharing firm was founded in 2009 by Garrett Camp and the now infamous Travis Kalanick.

Last year the firm entered a downward spiral that culminated in Kalanick being ousted from the firm. The CEO was replaced by former Expedia head Dara Khosrowshahi who has managed to right the Uber ship. The firm didn’t have the cleanest start to 2018 after an autonomous vehicle took the life of a pedestrian but things have been stable at Uber for some time now.

The firm has become the poster child for any app that connects people to a service on-demand. Heck, we’ve even heard the word “Uberfication” at conferences to convey the notion of apps connecting people to services.

Since it’s launch in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2013, Uber has attracted over 36 000 driver-partners with many of those drivers telling the firm they were unemployed before the app arrived.

Collectively those 36 000 driver-partners have traveled 1 478 812 041km for as many as 1.3 million riders. In terms of time, Uber rides have totalled 23 578 hours or 2.6 years in the region.

“It all started with the tap of a button, and has led to so much more – from exploring new cities together, getting you to that big moment on time and to thousands of economic opportunities created. We are excited to be celebrating our five years by looking at how far we have come – it has been an incredible journey and we cannot wait to explore it further with you,” general manager for Uber Sub-Saharan Africa, Alon Lits said in a statement.

The firm operates in 13 cities in the Sub-Saharan Africa region including Cape Town, Durban, Joburg, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth, Nairobi, Mombasa, Lagos, Abuja, Kampala, Accra, Kumasi and Dar es Salaam.

And as a last little factoid there is a person in Sub-Saharan Africa that has requested 6 000 trips, the most in the region. On the other side of the coin is the driver with the most completed trips has done 30 000.

Uber is clearly very popular in Sub-Saharan Africa and it’s easy to see why.

Congratulations on five years in the region Uber.

[Image – CC BY SA 2.0 Elliott Brown]
Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.