Taxify Makes It Difficult For Uber

There aren’t many stories that one hears about Billion Dollar Unicorn players out of East European countries like Estonia. But ride-sharing service provider Taxify is one such rare gem. The company is already giving Uber tough competition in Europe.

Photo by S. on Unsplash

Taxify’s Offerings

Tallinn-based Taxify was founded in 2013 by brothers Markus and Martin Villig and their friend Oliver Leisalu. The idea behind Taxify came to Martin in 2012 while on a trip to Ukraine. He noticed how the locals in the country were using the internet to order taxis. He realized that this useful service was missing in Estonia and Latvia. Martin did his initial research on the taxi industry back home and identified that the market was highly fragmented. There were nearly 25 taxi companies in the city and each of them operated their own version of a call center.

The three founders got together to build a mobile app that could integrate the taxi services and offer a ride-hailing service to consumers. After launching a prototype, the company reached out to taxi companies and consumers and modified the app to meet user feedback. Soon, they developed an app that allowed users to choose a ride sorted by price, distance, user rating, or car model.

Today, Taxify’s service is available in 26 countries, mostly in Europe and Africa. It has helped connect more than 15 million customers to over 500 thousand taxi drivers. It has also been expanding into other ride-sharing services. Earlier last year, it launched an e-scooter service in Paris.

Taxify vs Uber

Despite its might, Uber has had a tough ride in markets outside of the US. Taxify is also making it difficult for Uber to expand in Europe and African markets. Currently, Taxify is the leading ride service provider in 11 of the 26 markets that it operates in. It has reached this success by ensuring that it works well both for consumers and the taxi operators. Unlike Uber, which relies on independent drivers as its service provider, Taxify has entered into contracts with local taxi services. In 2016, nearly 80% of its drivers were taxi operators and the remaining were independent drivers. The partnership with taxi services has helped it keep union- and labor-related issues in control. It pays them nearly 15% as commission for rides serviced by them.

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