People’s Insights Volume 1, Issue 22: GetTaxi

GetTaxi is an app that allows people to order taxis from their smartphones or via the web, at the push of a button.

It was founded by Israeli serial entrepreneur Shahar Smirin. He launched the app in Israel, followed by the UK, Russia and other European countries. It is available on all major mobile platforms such as the iPhone, Android, Symbian and Blackberry.

Ordering taxis can be pretty time consuming. Calling someone and taking down details of the cab and the driver can be laborious. Often, taxis arrive late or don’t show up at all. This is where GetTaxi comes in.

Through the app, ordering a taxi is simple, taking 30 seconds at most.

Taxis arrive promptly as the technology tracks the consumer’s location through GPS and sends the taxi that is closest to him/her. Taxis usually arrive in less than five minutes.

Every taxi can be monitored and displayed in real time on a map, so the consumer knows where his/her taxi is and when it will arrive.

The app connects consumer and driver. It displays the name, phone number, car number and rating of the driver along with the consumer’s details.

As mentioned by TechCrunch writer, Sarah Lacy:

The service links the cab driver and the consumer by name, so the cab knows who it’s picking up, the consumer knows where that cab is and that dramatically cuts down on no-shows.

This gives consumers more control and makes the process safer and more secure.

Not only is the process simpler, managing expenses is easier through the app. Users pay by credit card, voucher or cash and get invoices e-mailed to them instantly.

GetTaxi makes a mundane and monotonous task exciting by incorporating gamification elements. Users can earn miles and redeem them for rides or gifts. Users can also share their experiences with friends and family on social media.

All this is attractive for the tech-savvy youth.

Taxi dispatch services around the world are expensive and cumbersome. In Europe, a cab driver has to spend $5,000 each year on contractors to run their business.
GetTaxi is more economical and effective.

For €2.99 per day (€1,095 a year), drivers can receive unlimited orders. In fact, the service is free for the first two months, so drivers can try it out.

Profits are maximised by reducing costs in other ways; the system connects drivers to fares that are close by, saving fuel money and time.

Cabbies get a ‘Driver’s Box’ free, so they don’t need any other equipment, hardware, downloads or training.

As mentioned on the official GetTaxi website

Will you order a taxi for me?” Whether you manage an office, restaurant, or hotel, you’ve probably heard this charming phrase more times than you care to count.

GetTaxi is handy for businesses as well. Businesses can create profile pages on GetTaxi with a customised button. Every time it is clicked, a taxi is dispatched to the business address. What’s more, this is absolutely free for businesses.

This is an attractive package for businesses that require taxi services for customers/employees, such as hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, bars, colleges, concert halls and corporations.

GetTaxi made a wise choice by launching and spreading its wings across Europe, instead of jumping into the US market. The taxi industry in Europe is mostly made up of non-union, independent contractors who hold taxi drivers to ransom by charging exorbitant rates.

Sarah Lacy says:

A big advantage is that Get Taxi is skipping the US and launching in Europe, where the taxi industry is a lot easier to disrupt en masse because it’s mostly made up of non-union independent contractors.

GetTaxi uses the power of the web to eradicate the pricey middleman and offer cabs at one-third the price.

Lacy continues:

Because there’s no unions or exclusivity contracts, taxi drivers can use it as a secondary system. They pay month-by-month; if it doesn’t bring them value, they can get rid of it. If it brings them value, the system quickly pays for itself. And if they’re skeptical, Smirin will even let them try it free for two months to see what it can do.

There is no reason why this service can’t get popular around the world. When it does, it could signal end of the middleman.

This would also mean cheaper fares for consumers.

Not only is GetTaxi trying to get drivers more customers, it’s also trying to solve pain points for drivers so that they don’t return to traditional dispatch services.

The digital medium enables systems, processes and technology to evolve drastically for problems to turn into solutions. This is exactly what has happened through GetTaxi.

Consumers are always on the lookout for replacements for services and products that are more cost-effective, convenient, efficient and superior.

In today’s age, where people are stretched for time and are constantly on the go, the mobile is the perfect tool for communication, information, tasks and utility. GetTaxi understands this.

There are already plenty of players in this segment. With the success of GetTaxi, there will be many more.

In what experts called a $30 billion per year market, GetTaxi has competition in the form of Hailo, Uber, Taxi Magic, and TaxiPal.

As mentioned by PandoDaily blogger, Erin Griffith

It’s a crowded market out there for taxi disrupters. There’s Hailo. There’s Uber. There’s Taxi Magic, TaxiPal, TaxiSelect… They’re solving the taxi problem. A giant market. Ripe for disruption.

Success will depend on the markets selected by the companies. GetTaxi has reaped the benefits by choosing the correct markets so far.

It has its sights on the US; it is set to launch in New York soon. GetTaxi recently announced $20 million in funding to help its expansion efforts.

Experts predict big things for GetTaxi, but a lot will depend on the cities it chooses to operate in in the US; the major cities already have several taxi service apps to choose from.

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Rooshabh Doshi

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