Taxify: old taxis should have been discarded

Founders of Taxify, Martin and Markus Villig, have expanded to 18 countries and involved €2 million in venture capital after just three years in business. The brothers are prepared to talk about their findings and experience on what is a suddenly a bubbling taxi market with a surprising degree of candor.

Going back to the very first days of Taxify, a lot of people welcomed you with open arms, including established taxi companies like Tulika and Krooni. Next thing you know, everyone's at war with everyone. What happened?

MARTIN: We started our business in Estonia three and a half years ago, and our initial strategy was to unite all taxi companies under a single platform and become the Baltic leader that way.

After the first year, however, we realized that demand far outweighed the number of good taxis available, while we couldn't find a good cooperation model with existing companies. This culminated in cooperation with individual drivers and with private drivers six months later. Demand is higher than the number of available taxis everywhere.

What exactly did the taxi companies find disagreeable? Were they being cut out of commissions «because of you»?

MARTIN: Commissions were not the problem. They were offered a very sensible discount on Taxify bookings, which they sold to their drivers at a 50 percent mark-up.

The only problem was that we both realized – us and the taxi companies – that their value was dropping weekly. Taxi companies add no value to the service in the eyes of the client in a situation where Taxify can maintain the same level of quality with its automatic orders system and quality control.

The taxi business has increasingly become a public transport service – the client no longer cares about the logo on the bus, rather it is the price and quality of the service. People choose operators whose cars are closest and cheapest.

... and by now we are in a situation where almost every taxi driver has several competing apps open at the same time, with the old-fashioned meter still ticking in the background and the voice of dispatch coming from the speakers. It all seems disorganized. How far are things concerning legislation for ridesharing?

MARTIN: As concerns the bill to legalize ridesharing in the Riigikogu, the thing that matters to taxi drivers is flexibility – so that everyone could have both a meter and taxi markings to pick people up from the street or taxi stops, and also be able to accept fares using apps and call centers.

So that all drivers would have the same options, with the only difference concerning measuring devices that must be used and who can use public transit lanes.

Ridesharing in itself is no longer necessary as a part of the law – taxi regulations will become so much simpler that everyone can register as a driver in a few days and start working after electronic background checks have been carried out. Parallel regulation of two different services should become history.

postimees
Taxify businessinEstonia
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
4 views in december
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Society
At the Riigikogu sitting beginning at 10:00 EET on Tuesday, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) will provide an overview of the activities of the Estonian government in the implementation of EU policies. Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Toomas Vitsut (Centre) will also deliver a report, and representatives of the Riigikogu's parliamentary groups will present their positions, according to a Riigikogu press release. In his rep...
Society
Chairman of the opposition Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) Mart Helme has called on Helir-Valdor Seeder, chairman of junior coalition member Pro Patria to tie the latter's support for the state budget bill to a decision by the government not to support joining the UN Global Compact on Migration. "Pro Patria still has the chance to demand from its coalition partners [the Center Party and the Social Democratic Party (SDE)] that its stances be t...
Society
Political news portal Politico published its list of the most influential people in Europe next year last week, with fifth place going to Estonia’s cybersecurity ambassador Heli Tiirmaa-Klaar. Tiirmaa-Klaar takes her place in between well-known Europeans, after Secretary General of the European Commission Martin Selmayr and in front of Ukrainian presidential hopeful Yulia Tymoshenko. Politico believes Italy’s populist interior minister Matteo Salvini will...
Society
Representatives of the transport ministries of the Baltic states, Finland and Poland who met in Tallinn on Monday were of differing opinions regarding whether to remain in summer or winter time once the practice of changing the clocks twice per year comes to an end. A recent survey indicates that more than half of Estonians would prefer permanent summer time. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and Poland jointly acknowledged that the agreement to end the...
Society
Ida-Viru Central Hospital is having trouble with patients not showing up to scheduled specialist appointments. To combat this issue, beginning next year, the hospital will start charging visit fees for no-show appointments as well. Last year, patients at Ida-Viru Central Hospital failed to show up for scheduled appointments a total of nearly 9,500 times, accounting for some 5% of all hospital visits, reported ETV news broadcast Aktuaalne kaamera. "Patients...
Society
Tallinn city government finds that it is not reasonable to relocate the Tallinn Bus Station to the Ülemiste district near Tallinn Airport and that it should be left in its current location on Lastekodu Street. In connection with the preparation of an architectural idea competition and the drawing up of a detailed plan for the Ülemiste terminal in the framework of the Rail Baltic railway project, the city is drawing the attention of the Ministry of Economic...
Society
A criminal investigation has been launched into the Medita Clinic, one of the largest private sector bidders in public procurement tenders in the health sector in Estonia. The Northern District Prosecutor's Office initiated the investigation in accordance with the Penal Code section concerning the transmission of false information, according to ETV investigative show Pealtnägija. The Medita Clinic was the largest private provider of specialist medical care...
Society
The Tax and Customs Board (MTA) has signed an agreement with Online accommodation and hospitality marketplace Airbnb which enables hosts to automatically report earnings. The MTA and Airbnb held a joint press conference on Wednesday, announcing the agreement's signing as well as the new system and its rationale. The main premise, according to MTA deputy director Rivo Reitmann, is to keep things simple, meaning that Airbnb hosts who declare their income in...
Society
Luminor notified its clients that as of 1 January, the bank will be closing the accounts of Estonian e-residents that fail to fulfil due diligence. Hannes Oja, head of Anti-Money Laundering at Luminor Estonia, said that based on the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act, banks are required to update the data of all of their customers, writes daily Eesti Päevaleht (EPL). As a result, all existing clients have to do so themselves on a regul...