Taxify hopes to lure Uber drivers with larger share of the fare

Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:13pm EDT
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By Eric Auchard and David Mardiste

TALLINN (Reuters) - The key to success for ride-hailing providers like Uber is keeping drivers happy so they run their app, ensuring that enough cars respond to passenger demand.

Estonia upstart Taxify is hoping to win over drivers and take on Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL], the industry leader, by offering a larger share of the profit.

Upstarts across the world, such as Lyft Inc and Ola, are trying to catch Uber in the on-demand car-ride market by securing brand loyalty.

But Uber has gathered critical mass and reached a valuation of over £60 billion in just eight years, despite a lack of profits. It has kept rivals at bay, partly by offering incentives to drivers to stay online.

Taxify, a minnow compared to Uber, cannot afford these perks but believes that by taking a smaller share of fares - 15-20 percent compared to Uber's 20-25 percent - it can steal market share form its San Francisco-based rival.

It also hopes that allowing drivers to take cash as well as credit card fares will also help it attract more passengers.

"Taxify's biggest advantage is the focus on good service by treating the drivers and riders better than other platforms. This means having higher pay for drivers, thanks to lower fees," Chief Executive Markus Villig told Reuters at Taxify's headquarters in Estonia.

"By the end of the year, I think we will be No. 1 in about 10 countries in Europe and Africa."   Continued...

FILE PHOTO: A taxi with the Taxify logo waits for a passenger in Riga, Latvia, January 15, 2015.  REUTERS/Ints Kalnins/File Photo