Business / News
Monday, 30 May 2016 09:01 EATnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.com
The online taxi company Uber has partnered with Sidian Bank in a Sh10 billion programme that will give drivers, fleet partners and business investors’ the chance to access high quality vehicles they need to start or grow their Uber-based businesses.
Known as the innovative Vehicle Solutions Programme, it comes shortly after Uber celebrated its launch 15 months ago in Kenya. The three-year programme initiative by Centum Investment Group will be effected through its subsidiaries, Sidian and Zohari.
The finance component of the vehicle will be done through Sidian Bank, while leasing solution will be available through Zohari Leasing.
According to Uber Kenya acting General Manager, Nate Anderson, the Vehicle Solutions Programme follows similar offerings that have recently been launched by Uber in partnership with WesBank, with great success in South Africa as well as in regions where Uber has a presence.
Anderson said they are also building more sustainable ride-sharing network in Kenya which moves the businesses forward towards achieving its vision of being a first-choice transport solution for everyone in the country.
Anderson explains that, the key to the Vehicle Solutions Programme’s ability to realise this vision is its highly inclusive design that makes it a viable and accessible proposition for the widest possible cross section of existing and prospective Uber driver-partners.
Speaking in Nairobi, Sidian Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Titus Karanja, said this partnership is well aligned to the lender’s mandate to support enterprises to thrive.
“We are glad to be part of this deal, which is enabling enterprises to grow. In addition to financing, we will also provide technical assistance to the beneficiaries of this arrangement. This deal is part of our efforts to consolidate our new positioning that is focused on enabling individuals to own their tomorrow,” he said.
The vehicle finance component of the programme offers qualifying driver-partners and investors up to 100 per cent finance deals on vehicles priced between Sh1 million and Sh1.5 million, with a generous 36-month repayment period at a low 10.5 per cent interest rate.
“To make this unique opportunity available, the criteria for both the finance and leasing options are focused more on the applicant’s proven Uber experience than on his or her credit history,” Karanja said.
He said for one to get access to the programme loans, she/he must made 500 trips and an Uber rating of higher than 4.6. “We expect speedy uptake of this financing package, with the entrenchment of Uber’s services in Kenya,” Karanja said.
Karanja said even drivers with no experience or track record on the Uber platform have the opportunity to benefit from the Vehicle Solutions Programme provided they have good credit record.
“They can apply for classic financing from Sidian Bank for up to 90 per cent of the purchase price of vehicles that are of sufficient quality and reliability to give them entry into the Uber driver-partner network,” he said.
Anderson also points to the launch of the UberFinder platform in Kenya as a way to help those drivers and fleet partners not operating on the platform gain access to vehicles that they can use to build up their Uber track record in order to eventually qualify for the Sidian finance or leasing solutions.
“Through the UberFinder system, fleet partners are able to rent their vehicles to drivers on the platform rather than employ full-time drivers,” he explained. The drivers have also a unique opportunity to rent the vehicle they need to gain the required Uber experience needed to eventually qualify to finance their own.
Jack is a business and society writer at the Kenya Free Press