Uber to face Didi-backed Tax­ify in Lon­don

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By AN­GUS MCNEICE in Lon­don an­gus@mail.chi­nadai­lyuk.com

Tax­ify, a new car-hail­ing ser­vice is pre­par­ing to take on Uber in Lon­don, af­ter be­ing boosted by in­vest­ment from China’s Didi Chux­ing.

The com­pany plans to charge fares sim­i­lar to that of Uber but will al­low drivers to keep a greater share.

Tax­ify has ap­plied for an op­er­at­ing li­cense with the city’s trans­port au­thor­ity Trans­port for Lon­don and has opened a train­ing of­fice near King’s Cross sta­tion. UK op­er­a­tions man­ager Finn Ger­aghty said Tax­ify has al­ready signed up drivers “in the thou­sands”.

“We’re pro­gress­ing very well. We’re de­vel­op­ing a close re­la­tion­ship with TfL and at the mo­ment we are on­board­ing drivers,” Ger­aghty said. “We’re con­fi­dent that in the com­ing months, we’ll be launched, live, and putting out a bit of a change for Lon­don.”

On Aug 1, Didi an­nounced it had in­vested an undis­closed amount in Tax­ify and had en­tered into a strate­gic part­ner­ship with the com­pany. Didi is one of the world’s largest mo­bile trans­porta­tion plat­forms, with around 400 mil­lion users signed up to its taxi, minibus and bike-shar­ing ser­vices.

Uber sold its China op­er­a­tions to Didi in 2016 in a deal that saw both com­pa­nies re­ceiv­ing eq­uity in the other. The Bei­jing-based com­pany has en­tered into strate­gic part­ner­ships with other ride-hail­ing ser­vices.

In 2015, Didi bought a mi­nor­ity stake in In­dian carhail­ing ser­vice Ola, and on Tues­day, the com­pany in­vested in Mid­dle East on­line taxi ser­vice Ca­reem. Didi’s part­ner­ship with Tax­ify ex­tends its reach into 19 Euro­pean, African and Mid­dle East coun­tries.

“Tax­ify will uti­lize this part­ner­ship to so­lid­ify our po­si­tion in core mar­kets in Europe and Africa,” said Markus Vil­lig, founder and CEO of Tax­ify. “We be­lieve Didi is the best part­ner to help us be­come the most pop­u­lar and ef­fi­cient trans­port op­tion in Europe and Africa.”

While Tax­ify will charge users rates sim­i­lar to other carhail­ing ser­vices’, the firm hopes its fa­vor­able com­mis­sion rates will at­tract Lon­don drivers to sign on to its ser­vice. The com­pany takes 15 per­cent of the price of a ride, com­pared to Uber’s 25 per­cent com­mis­sion.

REUTERS

A Tax­ify driver en­ters his car in Tallinn, Es­to­nia.

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