Ridesharing Co. Taxify Aiming To Take On Uber By Giving Drivers A Bigger Cut Of Fares

Taxify, the Estonia ridesharing startup, is aiming to take on Uber Technologies in the carsharing market by luring drivers with big profit-sharing incentives.

According to a report in Reuters, Taxify, which is a lot smaller than Uber, thinks it can lure drivers to its platform by taking only 15 to 20 percent of a driver’s fares compared to the 20 to 25 percent that Uber does. It’s also enabling drivers to accept cash and credit cards, which it is betting will be another way to attract more customers to Taxify.

“Taxify’s biggest advantage is the focus on good service by treating the drivers and riders better than other platforms. This means having higher pay for drivers, thanks to lower fees,” Chief Executive Markus Villig said in an interview with Reuters. “By the end of the year, I think we will be number one in about 10 countries in Europe and Africa.”

The executive told Reuters the ridesharing startup generates fares worth tens of millions of Euros each month, and that’s with being operational in just 25 cities in Europe and Africa. In comparison, Uber had $20 billion in fare revenue in 2016 and has operations in 600 cities across the globe. Taxify also thinks it has an edge because it’s rolling out its service in about 18 countries, largely in smallish markets in Eastern Europe and Africa. They are places where Uber is present or isn’t a dominant force.

“The way I see it, Taxify is cheaper than Uber,” said Tumelo Malatjie, 33, a former truck driver for a logistics firm turned full-time Taxify driver in Johannesburg. “Taxify takes 15 percent and Uber about 25 percent or 30 percent.”

He noted that he is still on the waiting list to become an Uber driver. While Taxify hasn’t had any head-on fights with Uber yet, it’s girding up for one since it’s soon entering the London market where Uber is the dominant player.

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