Estonian Taxi App Spreads Its Wings
Rahvusvahelised uudised 15 Dec 2017  EWR
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After a slow start, the ride-hailing service Taxify is taking on Uber in 20 countries.
tol.org 14 December 2017
Estonian ride-hailing company Taxify has launched in Australia in what local business watchers call a shrewd move to challenge Uber during the busy Christmas period, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The service is now available in Sydney and will soon hit Melbourne, offering half price rides in the country’s two most populous cities during the launch period, expected to last for a few weeks.

Early reports say the newcomer could pose a threat to the dominance of Uber, which has angered many Australian consumers in recent months after it introduced steep price surges during peak periods.

Taxify was begun in 2013 by 19-year-old Estonian university dropout Markus Villig.

It secured the financial backing of Chinese ride-sharing giant Didi Chuxing in 2017, which enabled it to expand within Europe and to Africa. It now operates in 20 countries worldwide and is quickly gaining ground on its competitor, according to Tech Moran.

Taxify is banking on consumers’ change of heart and claims its leaner business model compensates drivers for cheaper fares by reducing the commission it charges, meaning drivers get a higher wage.

Samuel Raciti of Taxify told news.com.au the service has 4,000 drivers registered in Sydney so far.

• High-tech Estonia is known for its start-up friendly environment. In 2017, it launched a "start-up visa" for non-EU citizens to encourage tech entrepreneurs to develop their projects in Estonia.

• Central Europe has emerged as a hub for tech innovation and start-ups in the last few years, writes the Next Web. Prague, Budapest, Tallinn, and Warsaw in particular have vibrant tech communities responsible for some recent international success stories.
(Compiled by Kate Syme-Lamont)
 
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