Daimler investing in Taxify as moovel launches new Stuttgart public service

30 May 2018

30 May 2018

Daimler is leading a group that has invested in European Uber rival Taxify.

The German manufacturer is part of a €150 million investment drive, which includes a mix of technology and venture capital funds. The business will add to the carmaker’s other car-sharing business MyTaxi, a market leader in Germany and a rival to Uber in the UK, Ireland and Spain.

Taxify has been taking business away from Uber in Central and Eastern Europe and in major African cities. It currently has around 10 million passengers and 500,000 drivers in the 25 countries that it operates in.

The funds will be used to develop the company’s technology and improve operations in its home markets in Europe and Africa, a statement said.

′There is a huge opportunity here, and we are going after growth,’ said CEO Markus Villig in an interview. ′As we continue to expand, we will need to raise more capital, but we haven’t decided whether that would be through an IPO or private fundraise.’

Uber rivals including Taxify and Lyft, are pushing to dominate the ride-share market in Europe, taking advantage of issues between regulators and companies themselves. Uber, in particular, has seen licences suspended in London, while Taxify also saw its services banned in the city in September last year, over safety and regulatory concerns.

Taxify is in negotiations with regulators in the UK and hopes to restart operations, which were shut down within a week of being launched in London, before the end of the year.

Meanwhile, another Daimler ride-share subsidiary, moovel, is to launch a new service, SSB-Flex, which will become of Stuttgart’s public transport system.

moovel has developed an operating system for urban mobility that offers access to various services, including booking and payment. In Germany, the mobility app ‘moovel’ combines local public transport, car-sharing provider car2go, MyTaxi, rental bicycles and Deutsche Bahn. Most services can be booked and paid for simply and directly via the moovel app.

The SSB Flex app is based on the moovel on-demand platform’s algorithm, which intelligently pools journey requests to enable ridesharing. To ensure that users can get from point A to point B as quickly as possible, the travel routes are continually calculated and updated taking into account the latest real-time traffic data and information from the public transportation network.

SSB has received a permit from the Stuttgart Regional Council that allows and enables them to operate SSB Flex under passenger transport regulations, which also apply to regular bus services. This permit is the first of its kind for this type of transport, the company says in a statement.

Daniela Gerd tom Markotten, CEO of moovel Group, comments: ′The positive customer feedback regarding Flex Pilot and the number of passengers who used the service during the testing phase, over 20,000, exceeded our expectations. Now we are handing the reins over to SSB. We are pleased to continue working together with SSB to develop SSB Flex in the future so that we can offer customers the best possible service. We feel confident that multimodal platforms and flexible, on-demand mobility solutions will help to encourage the switch to public transport.’