Uber Eats! What Else Can It Do?

Blog authors are Gavin Serkin, the Editorial Director for OnFrontiers and the Founder and Managing Editor of the Frontier Funds Consultancy, and Stacey Mattish.

Uber is eating the lunch of takeout services the world over. So, what other industries can be Uberized? And which countries are still on Uber’s list to conquer?

In our debut #ExpertChat online discussion this week, we asked Alon Lits, Uber’s head of Sub-Saharan Africa, where Uber is heading next:

“If you look to the future in Africa, what’s discussed ad nauseum is the delivery problem across the continent. Is there a way that Uber can help in that ecosystem – whether it’s the Uber driver who, in addition to carrying a person, is carrying a package, or dedicated tuktuks that can more easily navigate through traffic and can help with large or small deliveries?

Think about this from an ecommerce perspective. Imagine you have your own little business in Lagos, and you could log onto a platform, request a driver, who comes and picks up multiple items for a number of your customers. Our technology then connects you with the driver, who will then be routed to drop off those multiple items on your behalf. And while he or she does that, your clients get SMS or notifications to track the trip in real time.

That’s really exciting to us, and if we look to the future, we think it could be a really exciting development on the continent.”

And where’s next on Uber’s itinerary?

“As a first core principle, globally we want to be in every city around the world with an addressable population of more than 200,000 people. So if you think about that with the lens on the African continent, there are multiple cities on our radar.

If we look at the short term, we are looking to francophone Africa, with the likely next city being Abidjan in Ivory Coast. That’s a city where we’d like to be active before the end of the year.

Assuming things go well there, we also see opportunity in Senegal, potentially Zambia and potentially Rwanda.

But for the moment, the team is very much focused on expansion in our existing countries to new cities, and we really believe that we’re hitting the tip of the iceberg when it comes to market potential.”

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