Skip to main content

Taxify : The Uber Challenger Worth $1 Billion

Taxify co-founders and brothers Markus Villig (left) and Martin Villig
image : Taxify

Taxify, an Estonia founded and headquartered on-demand transportation service, is widely known as leading ride-hailing service in the European region, challenging established players like Uber with its 15 million users across 31 countries. The company, launched in 2013, raised $175 million in funding led by Daimler - in May last year - that valued it at $1 billion, pushing it into the unicorn club, alongside other ride-hailing companies like Cabify, Lyft, Didi Chuxing, Grab, Go-Jek, Ola Cabs, Gett and BlaBlaCar.

In addition to being a top on-demand rideshare service, Taxify also recently got into dockless electric scooters, with a first launch in Paris under the Bolt brand, that sees it competing with services like Bird, Lime, Spin, Skip, Scoot and Uber's Jump Bikes. Founded in 2013 by then high-schooler Markus Villig, Taxify was created with an aim to hop all taxis in the Estonian city of Tallinn and Riga - the capital of Latvia, a country bordering Estonia - onto one platform. It made its first foreign debut a year later and now operates in the 31 countries listed below :

Bolt scooters in Paris

image : Taxify

  1. Australia 
  2. Austria 
  3. Azerbaijan 
  4. Croatia 
  5. Cyprus 
  6. Czech Republic 
  7. Estonia 
  8. Finland 
  9. France 
  10. Georgia 
  11. Ghana 
  12. Hungary 
  13. Iraq 
  14. Kenya 
  15. Latvia 
  16. Lithuania 
  17. Malta 
  18. Mexico
  19. Nigeria
  20. Poland 
  21. Portugal 
  22. Romania 
  23. Russia 
  24. Saudi Arabia 
  25. Serbia 
  26. Slovakia 
  27. South Africa 
  28. Tanzania 
  29. Uganda 
  30. Ukraine and 
  31. The United Kingdom.

Prior to its most recent $175 million round, Taxify had raised only $2.2 million in known funding according to Crunchbase data. Daimler - the automobile giant behind the auto brand Mercedes-Benz - that led its $175 million round in May 2018 was joined by investors including Korelya Capital and TransferWise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus.

Hinrikus has a noteworthy history with the company, being the first employee at Skype, a company Taxify co-founder Martin Villig joined when it was only a small startup. Skype as we know, made it big with a $2.6 billion acquisition by eBay in 2005 followed by a Microsoft purchase for $8.5 billion in 2011.

image : Taxify


Taxify has succeeded in stamping its name as a key player in the ride-hailing market and a main contender to Uber in Europe and Africa. Uber, the leader and pioneer of on-demand rideshare expected to go public soon, also has competition from Ola Cabs in India, Go-Jek in Indonesia, Gett in Israel, Careem in the Middle East and Cabify in Spain.

Facing intense competition, although at the top in the ride-hailing industry, Uber made use of a unique strategy in China and South East Asia, Merging its local operations with China's Didi Chuxing and Singapore's Grab, getting significant stakes in both companies while exiting from the regions - a win-win for both sides.

Taxify's 25 year old CEO Markus Villig

image : Taxify

In its six year span, Taxify has grown to become the number one travel app in Kenya and Nigeria in 2017, the number two travel app in South Africa in 2018 and the top taxi service in Baltic nations - Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. It has marked as one of the fastest growing on-demand transportation services in Europe, Africa and the world at large, employing over 450 across 23 countries as of current.





Comments

Most Read Posts

Big-Name Investors Pile On Cloud Paper

Cloud Paper, a Seattle-based startup whose core product is toilet paper made from bamboo, has raised $3 million in seed funding from a host of investors led by venture capital firm Greycroft. Along with Greycroft, investors who participated in the seed round include; Salesforce founder Marc Benioff, entrepreneur Mark Cuban, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, music star Ciara, Code.org CEO Hadi Partovi, movie stars Robert Downey Jr and Gwyneth Paltrow, Riot Games founder Marc Merill, and NFL Quarterback Russell Wilson. Cloud Paper says it'll use the new funding to further its business and expand into other tree-free product areas. Toilet paper is conventionally made from materials cut down from trees. In fact, it's estimated that humans use the equivalent of 270,000 trees worth of toilet paper each day. Cloud Paper, with a goal of tackling deforestation, is now providing an alternative in the form of toilet paper made from soft bamboo. Although bamboo itself is a plant, it typically g…

MicroStrategy Bets Big On Bitcoin

MicroStrategy, a publicly-traded billion-dollar business intelligence company, has adopted cryptocurrency Bitcoin as a major store of fiat value, with the company having allocated a major part of its cash position to Bitcoin. MicroStrategy recently purchased 16,796 Bitcoins for an aggregate price of $175 million, after having previously bought $250 million worth of Bitcoins. The company disclosed its purchase of $175 million worth of Bitcoins on the 14th of September, 2020, after having previously disclosed the purchase of $250 million worth of Bitcoins on the 11th of August, 2020. It's such that MicroStrategy has bet a total of $425 million on Bitcoin, an amount that represents 80% of the company's cash balance sheet as indicated by its most recently released quarterly results. A sizeable portion of MicroStrategy's balance sheet is now made up of Bitcoin, making it one of the rare big companies and more so a publicly traded one to make such a move.Cryptocurrency is usuall…

Airbus Debuts Zero-Carbon Plane Concepts

Aircraft manufacturer Airbus has unveiled three concepts of zero-emission commercial aircraft that it says could enter into use by 2035. The three zero-emission concepts, with a general codename "ZEROe", include a turbofan engine design, a turboprop engine design, and a “blended-wing body” design. The turbofan design is made to fit between 120-200 passengers, the turboprop for up to 100 passengers, and the “blended-wing body” for up to 200 passengers. Airbus is debuting these concepts as part of efforts to tackle environmental pollution, given that planes although necessary for quick and easy global movement are one of the biggest environmental polluters worldwide. Airbus has given a timeline of 15 years from now that these concepts could be put into service, but being a concept, there's no guarantee that'll they eventually be adopted.ZEROe turbofan:
This design, with a turbofan engine, is made to fit between 120 to 200 air passengers and with a range of 2,000+ nautic…

WM Motor Bags $1.5 Billion

WM Motor, a Chinese electric vehicle upstart, has said that it's raised 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) in its latest financing round to further its operations. Among investors who provided the new funding include Chinese tech giant Baidu; SIG Ventures, a US-based venture capital firm; SAIC Motor, a Chinese state-owned automobile manufacturer; along with investment firms backed by the Chinese government. The new funding boosts the total amount of financing that WM Motor has raised since its inception to over $3 billion, on pair with the size of funding that other Chinese electric vehicle counterparts such as Xpeng, Nio, and Li Auto have raised both on the private and public markets.As of late, there seems to be enthusiasm for Chinese electric car makers, with two of such carmakers, Xpeng and Li Auto, having held recent successful public listings in the US. Xpeng's public listing raised $1.5 billion for its operations while that of Li Auto raised $1.1 billion for its operations.…

Social Capital Eyes $2 Billion SPACs

Social Capital Hedosophia, an investment venture led by venture capitalists Chamath Palihapitiya and Ian Osborne, has submitted formal filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission that makes note of the firm's intention to launch three new special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) that'll collectively raise $2 billion from investors. Before now, Social Capital Hedosophia had successfully launched three publicly-traded SPACs, and now furthermore intends to launch a fourth, fifth, and sixth that's targeted to raise $350 million, $650 million, and $1 billion respectively. Social Capital has courted a trio of technology luminaries to serve as independent directors for the new SPACs, with Nextdoor co-founder Nirav Tolia serving as director for the fourth while Facebook engineering VP Jay Parikh and former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo serve as directors for the fifth and sixth.Social Capital Hedosophia launched its first SPAC, or blank-check company as it's fond…

Robinhood Bags Extra $460 Million

Stock trading app Robinhood has bagged yet another round of funding, with the company just having raised $460 million in new funding as an extension to a recently closed $200 million funding round. With the new funding, it's such that Robinhood has raised nearly $1.3 billion in funding this year alone. Overall, the company has now raised some $2.2 billion in total funding since its inception. Among investors who provided Robinhood's new funding include Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, Ribbit Capital, DST Global, and D1 Capital Partners. The fundraise signals a very strong investor appetite for Robinhood, as the company benefits from surging retail trading activity during the coronavirus lockdown.This year has seen Robinhood top 13 million users and score $180 million in second-quarter revenue due to increased trading activity. The company added 3 million new funded accounts in the first four months of this year. As Robinhood has raised more funding, so has its valuation b…

Bridgewater Buys Into Nio

Bridgewater Associates, the world's biggest hedge fund, has made a relatively small investment in NIO, the Chinese electric carmaker. Recent filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission  (SEC) indicate that Bridgewater holds 856,026 NIO American depositary shares worth over $16 million at NIO's current (as of writing) share price. According to an SEC filing dated last month, Bridgewater held the same number of shares in NIO but at the time worth roughly $6.6 million. NIO has recently soared on the heels of a $1.5 billion secondary fundraise by the company, clinching a profit of more than $10 million for Bridgewater in the process. Although that profit figure seems bountiful, it pales in comparison to Bridgewater as a whole, being a hedge fund with well over $100 billion in assets under management.Bridgewater isn't exactly new to the electric vehicle industry, having previously bought a sizeable stake in Tesla, the biggest of any electric car company by market …

Unity Soars On Public Market Debut

Gaming company Unity has officially debuted on the public markets, with the company's shares rising 31% on its very first day of trading. Unity opened at $52 a share and through the day rose to a record $75 before settling at $68.35 as at market closing. Before its public debut, the company had initially targeted a share price range of $44 to $48. Unity's debut is one out of a string of recent successful IPOs with decent first-day pops, a string that includes cloud computing company Snowflake and data analytics firm Sumo Logic. Unity exactly filed to go public on the 24th of August. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker "U". Unity has apparent strong financials, with $542 million in 2019 revenues compared to $381 million in the previous year. The company isn't, however, profitable, with $163 million in losses in 2019 and $131 million in the year before. Before the IPO, Unity had $453 million in cash on its balance sheet. The gaming…

Peter Thiel Eyes Blank-Check Firm

Palantir co-founder and famed entrepreneur Peter Thiel is looking to strike gold once again, this time with a blank-check firm that'll seek to merge with another company. Thiel, along with Hong Kong-based businessman Richard Li, have created a new blank-check firm named Bridgetown Holdings that's seeking to raise $575 million on the public markets. The blank-check firm's sponsor is a joint venture between Thiel Capital, Peter Thiel's personal investment vehicle, and Pacific Century Group, a Hong Kong-based investment firm founded by Richard Li. The Bridgetown blank-check firm is led by Chief Executive Daniel Wong and Chairman Matt Danzeisen, who is himself notably married to Peter Thiel, while Wong, the chief executive, is a senior vice president at Li's Pacific Century Group. Bridgetown will have other board members including OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and RRE Ventures partner John Hass.Peter Thiel is apparently seeking to add yet another blank-check firm to what has b…

Brief: Apple Buys Scout FM

Technology giant Apple has bought Scout FM, a popular app that creates radio stations for podcast listeners. The acquisition was first reported [paywall] by Bloomberg, which notes that Apple acquired the company earlier this year. The financial terms of the acquisition aren't disclosed. As a private company, Scout FM had raised $1.4 million in known funding from investors including Bloomberg Beta, Betaworks, Precursor Ventures, and Advancit Capital. Apple's acquisition of Scout FM is one of several known purchases the company has made this year. The Cupertino, California-based tech giant has acquired more than half-a-dozen companies in 2020, including Fleetsmith, a mobile device management startup; Mobeewave, a payments company; virtual reality company NextVR; weather app Dark Sky; and artificial intelligence company Xnor.ai. Apple usually keeps its purchases tight-lipped, with most of them revealed by external media.