Ordering a taxi by app has just become even cheaper.
Taxify, an Estonian competitor to Uber, will launch in the city on Tuesday with a 50% discount on fares during September to get people downloading its app.
Like Uber, passengers download the Taxify app, register their number, and order a cab to their location. Unlike Uber, passengers can pay by cash or through the app with a pre-registered bank card.
When Business Insider compared the same journey across the two apps, Taxify came out almost three times cheaper than Uber. A journey from Aldgate East to Angel station would cost around £4.35 on Taxify. Uber estimates that the same journey would cost £16 on Uber X. (Note: Uber was showing surge pricing at the time, meaning it was more expensive than usual.)
Despite a bold promise to take on Uber in London, Taxify is still relatively unknown.
Its founder is 23-year-old university dropout Markus Villig, who started Taxify at home before expanding to 19 markets in Africa and eastern Europe. It’s avoided most Western European markets so far partly because of the tougher regulatory environment.
With a new pile of funding from Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxingin its back pocket, Taxify is now taking on Uber in one of its biggest markets. Villig said the firm had raised around €2 million from outside investors, prior to Didi. After London, Villig told Business Insider, Taxify could launch in Paris.
What’s to say Taxify won’t join the growing pile of startups which tried and failed to take on Uber, like Karhoo and Hailo? Uber is the most valuable private company in the world, and has raised around $15 billion in equity and debt to fuel an aggressive global expansion. It’s dominant in London, with 40,000 registered drivers. There are an estimated 22,500 black cabs operating in the city by comparison. Taxify has 10,000 drivers in London either registered or waiting to register.
Villig told Business Insider that Taxify has two advantages. Firstly, it hasn’t raised billions in outside investment and therefore has comparatively little pressure to turn a profit and repay its investors, except for Didi Chuxing.