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How Ugandan farmers can use EzyAgric app during this COVID-19 lockdown

How Ugandan farmers can use EzyAgric app during this COVID-19 lockdown

There is no doubt that by the time this COVID-19 period ends, our lives will almost have been rest to a new normal. Companies will have realized that they can do without certain roles, functions or departments, more technology adoption and rejuvenated industries.

People will have learnt new sets of skills and improved knowledge. But one thing will remain constant and that’s the need for food. Hence, the need to continue farming and practice general agriculture during this period is inescapable.

EzyAgric Mobile app comes in handy to bridge the logistical, information and service delivery gap by connecting farmers to suppliers, buyers and traders during this extremely difficult times. Using EzyAgric app, farmers shall make their contribution to the nation of ensuring food security.

EzyAgric App is a product of Akorion, an agritech company that digitizes the agricultural value chain to deliver better production and marketing services to farmers and other agribusinesses. It serves as a one stop center for all what the farmers need, right from garden mapping and planning, to market access.

The Agrishop feature allows farmers to order and pay for genuine agro-inputs from credible suppliers. Akorion is in partnership with the agro-inputs suppliers to curb the effects of selling sub-standard inputs. The company takes the logistics to get orders from farmers, package the suppliers and make sure it’s delivered safely to any client across the entire country.

How to order agro-input supplies via the EzyAgric App?

Step One: Download the EzyAgric Farmer App from Google Play store and Install on your phone.

Step Two: Register for an account using your phone number. e.g 0752XXXXXX. You will be sent a confirmation code to validate that the number is yours.

Step Three: Browse the list of agro-input supplies like seeds, fertilizers and farming tools. Once in the app, you can pick as many items as you wish into your shopping cart and pay at ago.

Step Four: Confirm the list of items picked and submit the order to trigger payment. Payment can be through either MTN Mobile Money or Airtel mobile money.

Step Five: Wait for delivery to your indicated location.

What is more?

  • Through EzyAgric, you can access extension services and advisory, most of which is for free. You could be advised on soil testing so that you apply the right type of fertilisers and carry out the most appropriate farming practices.
  • You will be able to estimate the size of your garden (garden mapping) so as to estimate the quantities of the various inputs your will require during farming. This also helps a farmer estimate the expected yields.
  • Accumulate points and stand a chance to get Ezycredit (agricultural loan). This will support you to plough or prepare the garden, buy seeds and fertilisers, buy pestcides, manage post harvesting by ensuring best practices e.g storage.
  • EzyAgric also links you with several buyers (offtakers) of your produce at the most competitive price on the market.

EzyAgric support staff are always on call to help farmers navigate through this difficult period and can be reached on 0787991262 OR 0758982759

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Author: EditorHow Ugandan farmers can use EzyAgric app during this COVID-19 lockdown

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Andela unveils Uganda’s 2019 Developer ecosystem report

Andela unveils Uganda’s 2019 Developer ecosystem report

Andela, the engineering as-a-service business that helps companies build teams quickly and cost-effectively so that they can ship faster has officially launched Uganda’s first-ever Developer ecosystem report. The report is a fruit of the inaugural Developer Survey which was launched on May 30, 2019, and closed in October 2019, after a period of 5 months.

The ecosystem report was born out of a need to know the trends and patterns of Uganda’s tech ecosystem, having realised that there was no one place where sufficient information about it could be found. Out of 1,053 respondents that visited the survey page, 800 completed the survey, yielding a completion rate of 75.97%.

Some of the key findings in the report include;

  1. 84% of the developer population is male while 16% is female
  2. Our ecosystem is comprised of mostly junior and mid-level developers with a few senior developers i.e. 51.3%, 36.5%, and 12.2% respectively
  3. Over 80% of the software developers are working in and around the capital city, Kampala, with a few scattered in the other major cities of Uganda.
  4. Javascript is currently the most used language in our ecosystem, followed by Python. This is consistent with global trends.
  5. 1% of the respondents are full-time employees, 11.4% are part-time employees, 15.1% are freelancers with 5.7% working as interns.
  6. 2% of the respondents prefer to work from/remotely

Additionally, the findings indicate that most developers are concentrated in Kampala and Wakiso districts, with a few scattered in Mbarara, Mukono, Mbale and Gulu districts. 67% of these developers between the ages of 19 and 30 years are located in the aforementioned two districts.

It was also observed that software developers who work remotely, from Uganda, for companies outside Uganda, mostly in the US, seem to earn a lot more than the employees working for local companies. The highest gross salaries are above UGX 10M for those working remotely.

They are closely followed by people who work in corporate and multinational companies with an average gross salary of UGX 5.5M. The rest of the employees seem to be within the range of 0 to 2.5M with the more senior developers in the 2.5M to 5M bracket. Employees in startup companies exhibit the lowest salaries recorded.

Speaking to the importance of the report, Jackie Ochola, Country Director Andela Uganda said that the report is a big step for the Ugandan ecosystem and the company believes it will be a valuable resource to take targeted actions for growth.

“Africa is the world’s fastest-growing continent for software developers and for us to continue to invest in the growth of the craft, we urgently need to understand the ecosystems.”

Andela, in its commitment to growing the ecosystem, continues to run initiatives like the Teen Code program aimed at introducing high school students to code; the Women in Tech leadership program that focuses on equipping women for professional software delivery; and the Andela Learning Community programs in partnership with Google and Facebook that provide free learning resources and have so far supported over 23,500 learners across Africa.

The Annual Developer Survey report 2019 can be accessed here.

Read About: Andela Egypt launch

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Author: EditorAndela unveils Uganda’s 2019 Developer ecosystem report

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Bolt (former Taxify) reportedly seeking bailout from Estonian government

Bolt (former Taxify) reportedly seeking bailout from Estonian government

Ride-hailing company Bolt Technology, formerly known as Taxify, is seeking for a credit support bailout from the Estonian government. This is after a switch to quarantine-friendly services failed to sufficiently improve its finances. Yet, banks have turned down requests for loans.

The service is asking for €50-million in loans or public credit guarantees after commercial lenders refused to take part in the existing state guarantees.

The Tallinn-based company needs at least €15-million/month starting this month after losing 85% of revenue. Reports on the matter cited a letter from Bolt founders and main owners Markus and Martin Villig. Bolt has asked the government to adjust the terms of its planned stimulus measures to help start-ups deal with the crisis.

Bolt cut operating costs and expedited the opening of new services, including the launch of home food delivery and a new courier service. These steps “have helped us adjust to the situation but we need to consider all measures to successfully exit the crisis”.

The Estonian government is considering specific measures for start-ups and could also acquire stakes in such companies directly. This was stated by the IT and foreign trade minister Kaimar Karu, when asked about Bolt’s request. The government has reserved €300-million for buying stakes in strategic companies in its revised 2020 budget draft, with shipper Tallink seen as a key candidate for a temporary purchase.

Bolt loan requests rejected

It is reported that banks have turned down loan requests from Bolt, despite a guarantee from state fund KredEx. This is because they see the safety net provided by the existing terms as insufficient.

The company, which was valued at over US$1-billion last year, signed a €50-million venture debt deal with the European Investment Bank in January. It was profitable in two-thirds of its markets at the end of 2019.

Coronavirus bailouts

Dubai’s government recently announced that it is ready to inject equity into Emirates Airlines following the coronavirus pandemic. This is after the Middle East’s largest carrier has grounded nearly all of its flights due to global restrictions on travel.

Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum stated that the state-owned airline is of strategic importance to Dubai and the economy of the United Arab Emirates, as well as playing a “key role in positioning Dubai as a major international aviation hub.”

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Author: EditorBolt (former Taxify) reportedly seeking bailout from Estonian government

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Rocket Internet sells its stake in e-commerce firm Jumia

Rocket Internet sells its stake in e-commerce firm Jumia

German tech investor Rocket Internet has sold its stake in African e-commerce company Jumia, which has seen its shares steadily fall since they listed last April on Wall Street.

Rocket Internet, which had held an 11% stake in Jumia as of November 8th, sold its holding between then and the onset of the coronavirus crisis. It is not yet clear exactly what proceeds Rocket Internet made from the sale, but said they were included in the 2.1 billion euros ($2.30 billion) of net cash the company had as of March 31.

Jumia shares soared when the company became the first African tech stock to list on Wall Street on April 12 last year but tumbled a month later after a Citron Research, run by short-seller Andrew Left, questioned some of its sales figures.

Jumia reported in February that its fourth-quarter adjusted loss before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization rose by 5% to 51.2 million euros, and said it had 232 million euros of cash as of the end of 2019.

Berlin-based Rocket Internet has helped set up a raft of start-ups, which it has later listed, eventually selling down most of its stakes. This has prompted speculation that the company might seek to go private, but there is no official comment on the issue.

Rocket now only holds stakes in furniture site Home24 and Global Fashion Group, which sells fashion online, plus stakes in more than 200 private companies. It said the total fair value of those private companies was about €1.1 billion as of Dec. 31, but noted that the coronavirus crisis might have a significant impact on that figure.

Read About: 

–> Jumia adopts contactless delivery in the wake of coronavirus
–> Jumia ceases operations in Tanzania

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Author: EditorRocket Internet sells its stake in e-commerce firm Jumia

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Here’s Odukar Store: A quality electronics online shop

Here’s Odukar Store: A quality electronics online shop

The world today is about convenience. A number of innovations and inventions are deemed successful if only they can stand out in offering products and services without the customer having to do the most work. This is what e-commerce sites have been loved for – taking customer orders and shipping these within hours to wherever you are.

But what about the newly found need for quality electronics and accessories shopping and shipping? Odukar store is bridging the gap.

Odukar is a new Ugandan-based online shop offering quality electronics at affordable prices. The site sells mobile accessories including power banks, phone wall chargers, USB cables, HDMI cables car phone chargers, phone holders, power extensions with USB charging, portable hard drives, Flash disks, name it.

How to signup on Odukar

To register, look out for the Login/Register option on the site, and select create account. You will be asked to fill in your details and set a password for your account.

With an account set, you can ably make and track orders, set an address to where your orders are delivered, as well as reliably pay for your purchase.

How to place an on Odukar

  • You can order online from the website.
  • Alternatively, you can inbox Odukar via their Facebook page or contact the team on +256770459339 or +256758827621 with what you want.

Once you have placed your order, you can be sure to get delivery either on the same day or the next for Kampala residents. Customers are charged a standard fee of Ugx 5,000 for all deliveries within Kampala. You can also pick your Odukar order at their stores on Ntinda Turskys building.

In the event that you don’t like what you have bought, you can return it within 3 days of delivery.

No, Odukar is not a Jumia competitor

The first thought that would come to mind if you got to know about Odukar is whether there is any sort of competition with Jumia. The reality is the opposite. 

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertHere’s Odukar Store: A quality electronics online shop

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You can order a smartphone that meets your needs from Pixan

You can order a smartphone that meets your needs from Pixan

How about having a smartphone that fits all your specification needs? From memory, screen size, battery capacity, and it all! Pixan Inc, a Kampala-based mobile phone maker and tech company, is launching what is likely to be Africa’s first mobile phone mass customization program using its Pixan M8 CE smartphone.

The Pixan M8 CE runs on Android and is designed and manufactured by Ugandan developers at Pixan under the stewardship of Mr Edgar Ofoyuru, the Chief Executive.

Mass customization in modern business is looked at as a ‘new frontier in business for both manufacturing and service industries’ and by taking this course, Pixan Inc believes will be able to mass-produce smartphones that meet customers’ needs.

Mr Ofoyuru explained that the mass customization program at Pixan Inc will see targeted customer groups order smartphones with specifications that meet their needs.

Customers, especially large corporations, government agencies, civil society and organizations with a sizeable workforce, when preordering will be able to tell us what to and not include in the smartphones they are buying. Instead of putting a phone on the market with specifications and abilities we think the customers need, we want customers to tell us what they need in a phone so that we can manufacture exactly that.

Pixan Inc are putting their first locally made smartphone, the Pixan M8 CE, and a host of other phone accessories like Earphones, Headphones, Cables and Powerbanks that are now available for purchase on their e-commerce portal.

According to Mr Ofoyuru, customized smartphones help companies and organizations to manage their systems better, communicate effortlessly and effectively and simplifies work. He says they can have customized apps installed in the phone during manufacturing, have old systems upgraded and have developers develop systems in the phone that suit their work. Everybody will make their own phone.

With great design, clear display, and a superior performance, a customer can make a Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) of 350 phones which is an industry-standard. The asking price for each piece, at the moment, is UGX 480,000 but depending on the demanded specifications, the price can go up as the phone is improved and fitted with more technology.

How to order for a customized smartphone from Pixan

Pixan Inc has made it easy to buy the phone on their online shop, where you can freely choose the option of buying an Android mass-customized Pixan M8 CE phone and follow easy to use prompts on the web portal.

The phone comes in white with gold trim colour but other options can be provided on request and RAM size options of 2GB and 4GB. It also has storage capacities of 8GB, 16GB and 32GB. The camera options are 4MP, 8MP and 16MP. Each option you make reflects on the pricing.

The Pixan M8 CE is a fancy smartphone made by Ugandan developers who in their research and development had the Ugandan user in mind. Its hardware material is made accustomed for Ugandan conditions just like the software inside.

And unlike the hardware and its entire casing, the customer can choose which RAM to buy and what storage capacity or camera abilities to come with the phone. These are decisions customers make when pre-ordering.

“Once the order has been placed, a prototype is delivered to the customer by Pixan Inc to ascertain that what is being manufactured is what the client ordered. If there are any differences from what was ordered, this is corrected,” Mr Ofoyuru says.

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertYou can order a smartphone that meets your needs from Pixan

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How to buy Yaka and pay for electricity on Eversend

How to buy Yaka and pay for electricity on Eversend

Electricity is a modern basic need and the introduction of Yaka meters in Uganda has made it easier to monitor usage in a home or business setting running on hydro-electric power.

Much as there are various ways with which you can purchase Yaka power units to keep you going, efficiency in doing so is also key. Innovations to facilitate a cashless transaction has been put in place and among these is with Eversend.

Founded by Stone Atwine, a Ugandan entrepreneur based in Paris, France, the fintech wants to revolutionize financial services in Africa by allowing its users to exchange, manage and send money at the best rates, both off and online.

So, how do you buy Yaka with the Eversend app?

Key requirement is ensuring that you have a balance available on your account, as well as an up-to-date app on your smartphone. To get the updated version of Eversend, download it here for Android or here for iOS.

If the above is in check, open the app, and tap on the Pay option in the menu below. Under payments, you will see the Electricity option on the right hand side of the first row. Tap it to add a new account, and choose UMEME Yaka option.

You will be asked to add a new Yaka account, by entering your Yaka meter number. A confirmation of the account details will be required after which you can schedule the payment to be automatic or a one-off.

buy yaka eversend

There is also the option of customizing your account with a memorable name such as Home Yaka. Note that the minimum payment to make is UGX 2,500.

buy yaka eversend

To buy Yaka, enter the amount to pay, input your PIN, and wait for a confirmation of the transaction.

The next time you wish to use the app to buy Yaka, the account will already be in existence and it will be a much simpler experience. You can also add as many Yaka accounts as you would wish to.

Read About:

  • How to load UMEME token on Yaka meter
  • Crucial Yaka codes you must know

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertHow to buy Yaka and pay for electricity on Eversend

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A tribute to Kobe Bryant, the selfless Techpreneur

A tribute to Kobe Bryant, the selfless Techpreneur

The world over has mourned the sudden death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday in California. Bryant, aged 41, was heading to a Mamba Sports Academy game at the time when the helicopter crashed.

Much as he wrote his story in the history books through the achievements he garnered as a sportsman, Bryant was a selfless entrepreneur off the court.

In 2013, he co-founded venture capital firm Bryant Stibel along with Web.com founder Jeff Stibel. The partnership would turn out to be a $100 million venture capital fund that gives life to tech startups seeking a way out of the birth stage.

The firm now has more than $2 billion in assets, with investments in dozens of technology, media and data companies. Additionally, Bryant Stibel claims at least 10 successful exits, including Dell and Alibaba. It also has investments in Fortnite creator Epic Games, digital payment company Klarna and household products firm The Honest Company.

In 2014, Bryant invested a 10% stake in sports drink BodyArmor, which is now said to be worth $200 million after Coca-Cola purchased a stake in the firm. Bryant was once quoted to state that he hoped to be remembered for his investments just as much as his NBA career when speaking with CNBC in 2016.

“If you really want to create something that lasts generations, you have to help inspired the next generation, right? They create something great. And then that generation will inspire the one behind them. That’s when you create something forever.”

In 2016, Bryant founded Granity Studios, a media company that focuses on creative storytelling around sports. Through this company, the basketball star wrote and narrated a short film called “Dear Basketball,” which won the Academy Award for best animated short film in 2018. 

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertA tribute to Kobe Bryant, the selfless Techpreneur

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The Innovation Village Kampala is expanding to Gulu, Jinja, and Mbarara

The Innovation Village Kampala is expanding to Gulu, Jinja, and Mbarara

It’s been just over four years of programmes and projects based in Kampala, and The Innovation Village is thinking of a new strategy. In partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, the hub has unveiled a strategic plan that is going to see its operations extended to three new cities outside of Kampala.

The plan, dubbed The Innovation Village Game Changers Roadshow, will take startup entrepreneurship and youth innovation to the North, East and Western regions of Uganda. The hub seeks to grow Startups, SMEs and Purpose-Driven Enterprises, with ways to deliver solutions for community challenges.

The expansion will take place between January and March 2020 with Gulu coming first, Jinja next, and Mbarara later. According to CK Japheth, Founder and CEO of The Innovation Village, the space in Gulu will be situated at the former Smiling Panda, while the Jinja hub will be situated on a 1920s Madhvani building.

The launch of these brand new innovation spaces will be a starting point for the budding of youth entrepreneurs and talented youth will be exposed to various events and activities that will enable them discover and develop their potential.

CK says that the new venture will be a beginning of a new era in doing more for Ugandan youth by covering more geographical space than we have before”. He adds that there is a vast pool of over $12 million to facilitate the entire expansion process and this will create opportunities for the innovators in the regions.

“By 2024 we aim at achieving the following targets: creation of 300,003 direct new jobs for young people from which another 60,657 indirect jobs (20%) will be created, skilling 230,000 young people and facilitating 163,010 new linkages. We believe that this move to expand to other regions outside of Kampala will enable us these ambitious targets”

This development comes two months after the hub securing two awards at the 2019 Top 100 Mid-sized Companies Award Gala.

The Innovation Village is not the first to extend its services beyond the capital city. In January 2018, Hive Colab co-founded opened a second branch in Mbarara.

Speaking to SautiTech, Lorna Twinomugisha – the Mbarara site manager said that the idea to expand was entirely new to the vast majority of the population and they are still trying hard to sell it. This saw them reduce renting space to as low as Shs50,000 a month per individual, a third of what it costs to get the same space at their main hub in Kampala.

Also, to get people to know about the hub and how they can benefit from it, they partnered with universities, which give them an opportunity to address students and they also organize pitch contents and other programs that students could pick interest in.

Read About: Tech hubs and co-working spaces in Kampala

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertThe Innovation Village Kampala is expanding to Gulu, Jinja, and Mbarara

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YellowBird spices up ride-sharing with Car Pooling feature

YellowBird spices up ride-sharing with Car Pooling feature

As economies grow, and tech takes shape, service cost saving becomes easier to implement. Rising ride-sharing app, YellowBIRD, is revolutionizing the industry in Uganda with a new car pooling feature. This involves a driver picking up passengers that go the same way he goes, while getting compensated a partial amount for fuel cost.

How does it work?

People with spare seats in their car can use the app to advertise their journey and the cost per seat. The main intention for the drivers is not to make a profit but to have passengers that can be charged an amount to help cover their costs of the journey.

People looking for a ride can then use the YellowBIRD app to find drivers making the same journey and book and pay for the seat. Once the request to travel is accepted by the driver, they can chat within the app and pre-arranged the meeting spot before starting the journey.

Precisely, this is all it takes! The car owner doesn’t provide passengers with on-demand services. They will definitely go to the required destination in any case, regardless of whether he has fellow companions or not. All that the car owner does is to save on fuel and other travel costs but he or she doesn’t intent to earn money of it.

Since this service implies that passengers share a ride, they must participate in the sharing of a total ride cost. In most cases, the cost of fuel is shared between all companions. But also a driver can look for companions not for financial sharing, but for people who have a driving license. When there are 2 or more drivers in the car, it is possible to have a bit rest during the trip.

Is YellowBIRD car pooling a safe alternative in Uganda?

When it comes to ride sharing, safety has always been one of the main concern. People are naturally hesitant about sharing car space with a stranger. What YellowBIRD does is to have each member having pre-registered as a YellowBIRD user, and ensures that they also add a government approved Id to start using the car pooling service with the app.

After using the service, drivers and passengers can rate one another to further boost trust within the community and give future users more information about who they are travelling with.

The app also has a secure messaging service means drivers and passengers can chat before sharing a ride — to find out more about one another and to arrange practical details about the journey.

Benefits of Car pooling

The benefits are simple — drivers offset some of the cost of their journey while passengers gain transport that they might not otherwise have been able to afford.

Cost effectiveness — By having more people using one vehicle, carpooling reduces each person’s travel costs such as: fuel costs, tolls, and the stress of driving.

Environment safety — Carpooling is also a more environmentally friendly and sustainable way to travel as sharing journeys reduces air pollution, carbon emissions, traffic congestion on the roads, and the need for parking spaces. Authorities often encourage carpooling, especially during periods of high pollution or high fuel prices.

Car filling— Car sharing is a good way to use up the full seating capacity of a car, which would otherwise remain unused if it were just the driver using the car.

Challenges with Car pooling

Flexibility — Carpooling can struggle to be flexible enough to accommodate in route stops or changes to working times/patterns.

Reliability — If a carpooling network lacks a “critical mass” of participants, it may be difficult to find a match for certain trips. The parties may not necessarily follow through on the agreed-upon ride. YellowBIRD is addressing this concern by making sure the customer who is interested on a ride pays the reservation and is billed before the trip in case he does not turn up.

Riding with strangers — Concerns over security have been an obstacle to sharing a vehicle with strangers, though in reality the risk of crime is small. One remedy used by internet carpooling schemes is reputation systems that flag problematic users and allow responsible users to build up trust capital, such systems greatly increase the value of the website for the user community.

Women Safety — When it comes to cab or car pool services, women safety is still a major concern. On this matter, we make sure to display the gender of the user in case the passenger only want to travel with the same gender.

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertYellowBird spices up ride-sharing with Car Pooling feature