Uber rival Taxify launches service in Eastern Cape
Uber competitor Taxify is making inroads in the Eastern Cape as part of its plans to build a national footprint.
The international e-hailing transport service company launched operations in Port Elizabeth this week and has plans to do the same in East London, Bloemfontein and Polokwane soon.
Its service is already available in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg.
Linda Mahloko, Taxify South Africa operations manager, said the decision to launch in the Eastern Cape, particularly in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro, came after extensive market research was conducted, indicating that there was potential to build the brand in that province.
“There is a young and vibrant market in Port Elizabeth, and this demographic fits the Taxify culture perfectly,” he said.
“We try to focus on where the market need is, and plan accordingly.”
There were also some interesting incentives on offer, added Mahloko.
“Apart from our value-added price promotion, we also focus on keeping our drivers and riders safe in the current political climate of South Africa. This is achieved by partnering strategically with various key companies to aid both driver and rider to always feel safe when using Taxify.”
Drivers can expect to earn at least 14% more with Taxify than they would working for a competitor.
In addition, Taxify is launching at a rate of R3.60 per kilometre, which is far more favourable than the general market rate of R6 per kilometre.
Taxify takes only 15% commission from its drivers, which is lower than the prevailing rate – resulting in more take-home pay for drivers and lower rates for riders.
Mahloko said Taxify had been doing double-digit growth every month since it launched in South Africa in April last year.
“We have an extensive number of drivers across the country and have completed millions of rides since we launched,” he said.
Taxify, founded in Estonia by Markus Villig in 2013, is an international urban ride-hailing platform that currently operates in 20 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Central America. It has a global team of more than 300 employees, many of whom have previously worked at Skype, fintech start-up TransferWise and Google.
In dealing with the violence that has overwhelmed the industry – such as the rivalry between Uber and metered taxis drivers, particularly in and around Johannesburg – Wilken said Taxify put strict procedures in place and did monthly or semi-annual checks on drivers and vehicles, depending on complaints, to ensure the safety of both driver and rider.