New app to share lifts with - car pooling in Kenya

Hi guys, I am the CEO and Founder @Sematime - an edtech company based in Kilimani. Over the weekend we launched a lift-sharing app called NipeLift doing both short and long distance trave; - mtaani & shagz.

I’d appreciate if you could check it out and give some feedback. And of course, offers or request lifts with. It’s already on PlayStore -

Thanks in advance.

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You need to advertise this to get more people on board. It’s cool (though UI is laggy in some parts kama hapo kwa events). Many will need this from 10th December kwenda shags. The more people know about this the better.

PS: can you participate in kcb lions den for advertisement funding? :grin:

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This is what we were talking about a few months ago. Taxi app ya kupeana lift hadi ocha. Guys book a date and pool together.

I will install the app and check it out later.


Thanks a lot. Agreed, the ‘events’ view needs some reworking. Should be fixed in the next update going live today.

On funding, we are bootstrapping for now but KCB lions den is certainly worth the shot.

Thanks @deewinc. Let us know how it goes.


Great idea.

How strict is the verification process for drivers and passengers?

I think the main reason drivers avoid picking up strangers kwa stage (and vice versa) is due to security.

How will I know I won’t get carjacked or kidnapped?

Here are some of the safety measures we have taken to guarantee your safety.

  1. All drivers and passengers on NipeLift have verified profiles. We verify their phone numbers, names, national ID & driving licenses.

  2. We have round the clock call center to cater to address user needs 24/7 all throughout the year.

  3. Ratings and reviews ensure that over time only the best rated drivers and passengers are eligible for us of the platform.

  4. Certificate of good conduct for drivers who wish to provide utmost safety guarantees to their passengers.

  5. One can also choose to only ride with fellow women, work or school colleagues.

I’ve not installed the app yet. Quick one, is the service limited to PSV vehicles? NTSA are always on the lookout for private vehicles ferrying passengers.

No, it’s to be used by private car drivers.

Aaah! Okay. The FAQ section on your website did answer most of my questions about security and verification.

Such a good point. Despite the phrasing used, any driver that applies for this service is basically offering taxi services.

Taxis fall under PSVs and you need a PSV license and motor insurance to operate one legally. Personal motor insurance, in most cases, DOES NOT cover any commercial use of the vehicle.

Worst case scenario

An accident happens. The insurance company conducts their investigation only to find that the driver was ferrying PAYING customers.

The insurance company is now off the hook and the driver is liable for any damages and injuries. The police are also chasing after the driver for operating a taxi without a PSV license.

Guess who they will come for next?

@uncleboni, it seems you have been in business for a while so I hope you know what you are doing. I do hope you spoke to a lawyer or two and drafted a legal agreement before launching this.

Despite the phrasing you have used, you are offering a ride sharing service (with the intent to profit, I am assuming) and those are strictly regulated by the government.

All the best.

Great observations @General. Some few pointers though:

  1. There’s a difference between ‘for profit & reward’ and ‘driver compensation’ - taxis, matatus, buses etc all operate on a ‘for profit and reward’ basis where one needs not only cover their costs but also add a markup to make profits.

  2. NipeLift is different since drivers do not make profits. The money taken up by drivers is determined by the distance covered and AA Kenya’s mileage costs per kilometer. AA Kenya releases an annual review of recommended mileage costs that are used by multinationals, NGOs, government and corporates to determine just how much to pay their employees for travel allowance.

  3. AA Kenya rates are only enough to cover vehicle operating costs. And that’s exactly what the payment you make to drivers is - compensation. The system automatically recommends a cost for all lifts shared on the app and drivers are not allowed to charge even a cent more.

  4. If you are driving to Nakuru on a 1,500 CC Toyota Premio, you are likely to spend Ksg 2,000 on fuel alone. Now if you factor in wear and tire, car servicing, tyres wearing out etc you get a cost of Ksh 3,200. Splitting that by 4 seats on average gets you Ksh 800 per seat. And that’s exactly how much the driver will get on NipeLift.

  5. Like anything new, this will take some time to catch on but so far so good. Lots of interests.

This is a good niche with aligned incentives for both driver and app since it’s just a side hustle thing. How to get the drivers and passengers is the big question now. With passengers maybe you might want to convert bus/shuttle clients into your clients. Drivers now that’s the big unknown

Thanks @MikeOck. Glad you see it as we do. As for recruitment, this is on going as we speak.

Uber might fry you for using their brand as a pitch

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Can’t open the app after the last update …

Any error messages you are getting? Could you share a screenshot?

Thank you.


That’s as far as any opening effort goes

Thanks, some users have reported this. We are already working on a fix.

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I am curious to know if your service @uncleboni has caught on during this period of matatu hardship
I would consider it to be the best opportunity for your own customers to attract others by word of mouth

I see you are top on free and trending charts on the Playstore for KE …what remains is trending on social media such as twitter with #s