Taxify, one of the major ride-sharing startup in Europe and Africa said it has entered into a strategic partnership with DiDi Chuxing, China’s largest ridesharing company.
A spokesperson for Taxify, Marilin Noorem said in an email statement, that as part of the agreement, ‘DiDi will invest in and collaborate with Taxify to support the latter’s further growth and innovation across its diversified markets’.
Markus Villig, Founder and CEO of Taxify, said: “Taxify will utilize this partnership to solidify our position in core markets in Europe and Africa. We believe DiDi is the best partner to help us become the most popular and efficient transport option in Europe & Africa”.
Will Cheng Wei, Founder and CEO of Didi Chuxing, said: “Taxify provides innovative, high-quality mobility services across many diverse markets. We share a strong commitment to harnessing the power of mobile technology to satisfying rapidly evolving consumer demands and revitalizing traditional transportation industry. I believe this partnership will contribute to cross-regional smart transportation linkages between Asian, European and African markets.”
When we asked Marilin how much was invested and for what stake, she declined to give specific figures but said “We are not disclosing any investment amount at this moment”.
“We will use the funds to continue our investments into markets where we operate in – mainly Europe and Africa, where we are #2 most popular app after Uber and the only challenger”.
“To hint at our scale, we get about the same amount of interest from users as Mytaxi, an app that was acquired by Daimler and has funding to invest & acquire other apps like (BeatTaxi & Hailo)”, she said.
Oluwole Ogunlade, Head of Digital Strategy at VoguePay said: “I expect the capital injection gives TaxiFy enough cash war chest to remain competitive against Uber in a local market. Also, it will enable Taxify to benefit from technology innovation and R & D of Didi. This makes it possible to deploy market leading innovations like electric and driverless car initiatives as they aim to become a smarter global transportation project in Europe and Africa.
“This depends on the scope of the agreement between both parties”, he said.
However, Taxify disclosed in its statement that it has raised about EUR2 million in funding till date. From the look of things, the company might update its profile to accommodate DiDi’s investment anytime soon.
The latest investment from DiDi will further give Taxify the needed firepower it requires to go head on with Uber across Africa and Europe. While it is a fact that Uber staged the first arrival in Africa, Taxify has since increased its marketing and sales pressure across the continent.
As for DiDi, it is the largest ridesharing company ahead of Uber. In August 2016, DiDi acquired Uber’s Chinese unit after the latter could not compete in the market because of the China’s peculiar terrain and customer segments.
It is expected that Taxify would use the investment and technology of DiDi to up its game in across developing markets. For instance in Nigeria, while its direct marketing efforts are paying off and challenging Uber’s dominance in Lagos, Taxify has not started extensive marketing campaigns which Uber has upped in the last two months. Uber has gone ahead to open more walk-in centres to appeal to new drivers and partners to join the network. Taxify has not also decided when it will enter Abuja, Nigeria’s administrative capital, the new investment might be used to place a bet on the city.