Greek taxi hailing app Taxibeat is headed to Mexico. Boosted by a new US$2 million investment, the startup will now launch in Mexico City, two and a half months after opening offices there. The startup announced:
Today, we launch our service with more than 400 drivers, ready to bring the taxi revolution in North America. With every launch we become better: more efficient, more effective, having learned from our successes and our mistakes in other markets.
This marks Taxibeat’s third Latin American locale, as its app is already available in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo in Brazil. It is also available in four European cities – Athens, Oslo, Bucharest and Paris – and has previously received US$1.4 in funding.
Taxibeat is available for both Android and iOS. It allows users to locate and request taxis through their smartphones, also giving them the option to rate rides and drivers once they’ve arrived at their destinations. The startup charges drivers and companies a small commission for using its service, incurring no extra fees for passengers.
According to TechCrunch, one of Taxibeat’s main differentiators is the fact that it allows passengers to select individual drivers, based on user ratings, distance and amenities. The startup claims that this improves service quality.
Despite Competition, Latin America Worth a Go
Latin America’s taxi app sector isn’t exactly no man’s land.
There are numerous startups competing in the sector, the most formidable being Brazil-born Easy Taxi. Backed by Rocket Internet and having recently closed a US$15 million Series B round from LIH, Easy Taxi is the best bet for success in the region’s taxi hailing realm right now. And other, smaller players, like Colombia’s Tappsi and Chile’s SaferTaxi, can’t be ruled out, either.
Why choose Latin America, then, given the competition? An urgent need for a solution, and the size of the potential reward.
The region’s cities, like São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Mexico City, are huge, representing market opportunities for Taxibeat that are unparalleled in Europe. The startup will also take advantage of a regional scenario in which public transportation infrastructure is often sub-par and existing taxi systems are of poor quality and, at times, unsafe.
Thus far, Taxibeat has done a good job of taking on the competition. In Rio de Janeiro, where it launched a year ago, Taxibeat says it is the number one taxi hailing app, leading in ride volume and revenues. It now hopes to repeat that success in Mexico City.