- inDrive, an e-hailing company, has announced plans to start offering financial services products, including small loans to drivers, in developing markets where it operates.
- The company, which operates in 47 countries, says the new development will help it achieve long-term financial stability for its growing driver base.
- The timeline for the launch of these financial services has yet to be confirmed, and they will be available only in specific African countries.
Founded by Arsen Tomsky (CEO), the company plans to target its financial services at drivers in developing countries such as Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Ghana, and Namibia, who need to repair their vehicles and might be financially unstable or even strained.
Per Mark Loughran, the Group President, the company has been looking at financial services and options in these markets.
While inDrive is testing some ideas, Loughran says the company is currently looking to partner with other stakeholders to provide loans to drivers and delivery riders who require financial assistance.
inDrive is not remiss to realise the difficulty of giving small loans to gig riders in these emerging markets, most of whom have no previous banking credibility. According to Loughran, inDrive anticipates the challenges and is exploring effective solutions to support its drivers.
While inDrive is the latest company to explore lending and providing financial services to delivery and ride-hailing drivers, it’s not the first. In Nigeria, Moove, a Nigerian-based mobility fintech, partners with Uber to help drivers with vehicle financing, and Max also has a similar partnership with Bolt.
Formerly known as inDriver, the ride-sharing company was founded in June 2013 in Russia and is now headquartered in the United States, where it moved in 2023. Despite this, most of inDrive’s business is in developing markets across Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
inDrive operates a different ride-hailing model from competitors like Uber and Lyft as it moves away from set pricing and lets passengers negotiate the fee for their trip.
In the fourth quarter of 2023, inDrive launched a $100 million programme to invest in startups and businesses in emerging markets.
In February 2023, the ride-hailing company launched a debt instrument to raise $150 million, with repayment contingent on the company's performance. This one-of-a-kind debt round provides the ride-hailing platform with repayment flexibility based on profits generated over time.
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