From mLab to the world: Karabo and Matsiri are pushing for entrepreneurial success

06 April, 2022



Zukanye Madakana


This is the era for young entrepreneurs to spark the entrepreneurial spirit in themselves. Karabo Mogajane (25) and Matsiri Gaffane (29) are doing it, the two young men own an e-hailing company called Ambee. 

Ambee is a mobile application developed to address issues currently faced by the e-hailing industry in South Africa. Safety and pay are some of the burning issues in the industry.

Mogajane says he identified more issues in the industry after conducting research. He began with research after he had a conversation with an e-hailing driver who complained about not making financial progress in the industry. It turned out that more drivers feel as though the industry is exploiting them. Lack of industry regulation and driver-oversaturation are other problems in this business.

So, what are Karabo and Matsiri doing about this?

“We thought of tailoring a solution for the drivers that will empower them to be their bosses and keep most of the financial benefits”, says Mogajane. 

Ambee’s services make them stand out in the market. Gaffane, the COO of Ambee says the company prioritises the safety of both passengers and drivers. “To ensure the safety of drivers, passengers need to verify their identity when creating a profile in the application”, he adds. Should an incident happen amid a drive, the passenger’s identity will be traceable. When a customer requests a ride on Ambee, they receive a One-Time-Pin (OTP) which they have to issue to the driver before the ride commences.

“Drivers in the market are facing a lot more issues, there are ownership issues. Drivers don’t own the cars they operate with, so they rent the cars and that reduces the money they take home. Bear in mind that these people are breadwinners in their households“, says Gaffane. Ambee came up with a solution for this, drivers pay for a one-month subscription of R1000 regardless of how much money they have made in one month. 

             Ambee’s Innovative features

User engagement is an important element for Ambee, for example creating a profile and signing in on the app is made simple. Other innovative features in the application are the ‘notification button’ and the ‘What’s the vibe?’ feature. 

The notification feature alerts users of events such as seminars and entertainment close to their locations. Should a User be interested in an event, they can simply request a ride on Ambee and attend. “There are still more features that we are going to introduce down the line”, Ambee’s CEO adds. 

‘What’s the vibe?’’ allows Users to customise their ride experience. On the feature, you can specify if you want silence or music during the ride or a conversation and the driver will comply with your request. 

   “We want to expand across the world”

Ambee’s COO, Matsiri Gaffane says the company wants to have a footprint across Africa and is confident about that. “Ambee has so much potential to expand, we are hoping to reach countries like Botswana, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, and more”, he adds. 

The two business partners say they also want to inspire other young entrepreneurs in Africa to start their businesses. With that said, they are working to sustain the company’s life and consequently become an entity that has a high economic impact. 

   Fueling the movement of the economy

When they started the company, it was just the two of them and now the company has more employees on board. Ambee currently has 10 staff members, “through the help of mLab we have managed to hire some talent”, Gaffane adds. 

Ambee’s CEO says they would like to hire Language translators because language barriers are an obstacle in the industry.  This would make Ambee a unique service provider and an accommodating one to people of all nationalities. Gaffane adds, “there are many graduates who are unemployed, we want to be the company that gives young people room to develop their skills”.

                           The official launch

On 9 April 2022, Ambee will be hosting an official launch where stakeholders, prospective drivers, and investors will learn more about the company. The launch will be hosted at 7 Yale