EasyTaxi continues rapid ride, eyes Asian expansion: Page 2 of 2
By Gabey Goh July 2, 2014
The next 24 months
Meanwhile, EasyTaxi has no plans to acquire hard assets such as fleets of its own for any market, Berta says.
“We’re a marketplace, that’s the role we play in the ecosystem. Taxi companies are good at operating a taxi business; if they wanted to step into a marketplace play or do digital advertising, that would be like us trying to operate a taxi company – we wouldn’t know where to start.
“If you notice, under Rocket Internet, all our companies nail a very specific vertical ... and we’re not very creative about it, just efficient,” he adds.
With the last two years spent on strengthening operations, the next two will be focused on strengthening EasyTaxi's offerings in existing markets where it claims to be a market leader.
“We have competitors everywhere, the exception being South Korea, but I believe a new taxi app will be launching there soon. The largest market for such apps remains São Paulo, where there are 12 apps active in the market including ours.
“This is also the kind of space where you have to be either No 1 or No 2, or you’re out of the game,” Berta says.
Expanded services and targeting the B2B (business-to-business) segment are also in the works, with Berta sharing that the company has plans to launch EasyTaxi Pro and EasyTaxi Corporate in Asia.
Easy Taxi Pro is the company’s solution for bars, hotels, restaurants and other establishments to call taxis easily, quickly and safely.
He says that the service is already in use by Century City Mall in Makati, the Philippines, where the app is used to help customers book cabs.
“We deploy our own concierge for the mall, a full-time EasyTaxi employee who helps guests of the mall book cabs.
“Why? Because communications with the driver is key to success, so before we put an employee in a concierge post, they undergo training, going through the entire '360' of how EasyTaxi operates from garage to sales,” he adds.
Another service that should soon be making its presence felt in Asia is EasyTaxi Corporate, which is aimed at corporations that need a solution to manage travel allowances and transport for its staff.
Berta says the solution is already available in Brazil and allows for a company's employees to still get regular cabs but without the need for receipts as payment is handled directly with the company. Other features include advanced booking and budget limits, with the app cutting off rides on company money once a set allowance has been hit.
“We’ve have companies in Brazil from banks to oil and gas companies reporting reductions of up to 40% in taxi expenses since they introduced EasyTaxi Corporate,” he claims, with a notable client being Petrobras.
Berta declines to share a definitive timeline for the rollout of these services in Asia but says that it should be "within the year."
Although challenges still remain in the EasyTaxi journey to claim global dominance, Berta remains bullish on the company’s chances in the months ahead. He could be forgiven for getting occasionally flustered at public reactions.
“With some guys I’ve met, they tell me ‘Oh my gosh EasyTaxi is awesome, is it yours?’ and I say, 'No it belongs to Rocket Internet,' and their reaction is ‘Really?!”
“Yes dude, really ... sometimes we build great stuff,” he quips.