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Taxify expands to four SA coastal towns

Taxify expands to four SA coastal towns

Taxify is expanding its South African operations to include four coastal towns, after raising $175 million from Daimler AG, in May.

The ride e-hailing app says it will launch services in Plettenberg Bay, Knysna, George and Mossel Bay next week, as it prepares for the peak holiday season.

Five months ago, Taxify said it had completed an investment round of $175 million from Daimler AG, parent company of Mercedes-Benz, which it intended to use for expansion of its worldwide operations, particularly across Africa.

Launched locally in April 2016, Taxify currently operates in five provinces: Gauteng, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Western Cape.

"Taxify has seen success globally, having created employment opportunities for 10 000 driver partners in SA and 500 000 drivers in more than 25 countries," says Gareth Taylor, country manager for Taxify in SA.

"Adding these four new towns to our South African network emphasises our continued focus on launching ride-hailing services in more towns and cities across the country, outside of the obvious main centres. The new addition means Taxify will now operate in 13 cities and towns across the five provinces."

The ride-hailing firm says SA will now have more Taxify-serviced cities and towns than any other country in its global network.

As of December, Taxify's city locations will include Johannesburg, Tshwane, Ekurhuleni, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Polokwane, East London, Pietermaritzburg, Plett, Knysna, George and Mossel Bay.

African success

Taxify says it is one of the fastest-growing ride-hailing companies, with over 15 million passengers globally, and close to half of its business in Africa.

The Daimler AG investment values the company at more than $1 billion, better positioning the Uber rival, as it aims to expand beyond its current network of 40 cities in Europe and Africa.

Under the deal, Daimler joined Taxify's board of directors.

"Taxify will also use the investment from Daimler to further develop our ride-hailing technology and continue expanding to new African markets globally. There are two billion people across Europe and Africa, our key markets, so that means we still have a lot of ground to cover," notes Taylor.

While he could not elaborate on which African markets the company is eyeing next, he says the priority will remain on growing its footprint to more towns and cities across its existing markets.

In addition to SA, Taxify operates in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, with a total of five million active users on the continent.

One of Taxify's key success factors in its rapid expansion, according to the company, has been the fact that its drivers receive 85% of all fares paid by riders; a significantly higher percentage than what drivers using other similar platforms receive.

Taxify takes 15% commission from its drivers, while Uber takes 25%.

"We intend to expand our footprint even further in SA during 2019, as we believe all South Africans can benefit from the convenience and cost-efficiency of ride-hailing," concludes Taylor.

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