Sidian Bank, formerly known as K-Rep Bank, has unveiled a 10bn loan facility to Uber. This money will be used to promote an innovative Vehicle Solutions Program in Kenya.
This comes barely one and a half years since Uber’s introduction into the Kenyan taxi industry and a few weeks after it expanded its services to Mombasa. This transport technology platform has claimed more than 1 million rides over this period. This is despite the conflicts that arose earlier this year between this service provider and many taxi drivers who considered it a threat to an industry they have dominated for a long time.
Presently, Uber operates in 63 countries, 344 cities and 6 continents. Sidian Bank has confirmed that it will allocate Kshs. 10 billion over the next three years. This amount is set to benefit all Uber driver-partners across Kenya. This credit facility is expected to help Uber drivers acquire cars whose value is Kshs. 1 -1.5 million.
The program hopes to empower Uber’s existing and prospective driver-partners as well as investors by helping them grow their taxi business. This comes after the success of such a partnership in South Africa where Uber partnered with South Africa’s Wesbank. The partnership will see these partners benefit from both financing though Sidian Bank and leasing solutions by Zohari Leasing.
Like all leasing and financing solutions, this program is not for anybody. Eligibility will be based on a driver’s earnings and service quality with Uber. Also set to benefit are those who do not have a credit history with Uber. These drivers are eligible so long as their Uber app has a rating of over 4.6 and have completed of over 500 trips. In addition, drivers working with other metered taxi companies can rent a vehicle at friendly rates and partner with Uber until they earn and build a quality record that qualifies them for the lease program.
This is definitely a welcome move as it will enable driver-partners to acquire quality vehicles, drive business growth, and create a sustainable ride-sharing platform in Kenya.