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Ride-hailing service provider Little Ethiopia is expanding its offerings by venturing into delivery services, utilizing a fleet of electric bikes.

The company has formed a partnership with Dodai, a firm based in Addis Ababa specializing in assembling and selling electric motorcycles.

With delivery operations set to commence at the end of March 2024, Little initially aims to deploy 100 bikes but plans to increase this number over time.

Barouk Almaw, country manager at Little Ethiopia, cited two primary motivations for entering the delivery market. “Little is an international company involved in various sectors, including logistics services in other African countries like Kenya. Little Ethiopia’s goal is to offer complete logistics solutions, and delivery services are part of that,” Barouk told Shega.

“Additionally, we recognize the underdeveloped nature of the delivery sector compared to ride-hailing. We intend to leverage our experience from other African countries to enhance and expand this sector.”

Last week, Little Ethiopia finalized a memorandum of understanding with Dodai. Dodai produces electric bikes capable of traveling between 80 km and 150 km per charge, utilizing lithium batteries with a lifespan of up to eight years.

Although each bike costs 150,000 birr, Little Ethiopia does not purchase the bikes outright. “We are collaborating with VisionFund Microfinance and the Ministry of Labor & Skills to facilitate financing for drivers interested in joining the market, enabling them to own their e-bikes and start working,” added the manager.

Barouk further elaborated that they have organized training sessions in collaboration with the ministry. This opportunity is available to Addis Ababa residents holding a digital ID, who are expected to contribute 10% of the total payment.

Users can access the Little application and select the delivery option, which will soon be integrated into the app to facilitate the service.

Little Ethiopia, launched in March 2022, primarily caters to corporate clients. Its core objective is to provide ride-hailing services to companies, streamlining transactions and enabling payment at the end of each month.

The company has onboarded around 28,000 drivers and formed partnerships with more than 500 businesses, including Safaricom, Ethiopian Airlines, Bank of Abyssinia, and Dashen Bank.

With a flag-down fee of 120 birr and a charge of 18 birr per kilometer, Little operates on a rating system that rewards drivers with higher ratings with more job opportunities. However, pricing details for its new delivery service have not yet been disclosed.

Both Feres and RIDE, two of Ethiopia’s biggest ride-hailing firms, have expanded their service to logistics.

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Daniel, a writer and radio host, has a keen interest in technology. Additionally, he has supported various organizations by enhancing their digital presence in his role as a social media manager.