Rocket Internet-backed EasyTaxi handled some 83 million rides across Latin America in 2015 and is planning to expand across the region in 2016.
EasyTaxi, which describes itself as an “urban mobility app”, consolidated its regional leadership by merging with Colombia’s Tappsi last December.
The pair have a 90% share of the market in Colombia.
And it has raised $77 million so far, although the last publicly-known-about round was a $40 million Series D in July 2014.
CEO and co-founder Dennis Wang highlighted the scale of the opportunity the business has in Latin America. “The LatAm taxi market is still virtually untapped as taxi app rides represent less than 5% of total rides in the region,” he said.
He noted that “favorable legislation…will further spur growth in Latin America’s biggest capitals, Sao Paulo, Mexico, Bogota, and Lima.”
EasyTaxi is also working on enhancing its products and services, claiming to have doubled its spend on technology. Payment options are a big part of any taxi app business, with Wang pointing out that EasyTaxi is “payment agnostic” and that its accepting of “cash, credit card, in-app, and corporate bookings” gives it the edge over its competitors.
The business is active in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Kenya and Nigeria with Saudi Arabia the strongest of its markets outside Latin America. It has 20,000 drivers in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam and its app has been downloaded more than one million times.
Payments are also on the to do list for these markets, and earlier this year it started to accept cashless payments in Egypt via a partnership with Mastercard.
The growth potential of the sector is never in doubt, as witnessed by the levels of investment and valuations of Didi Kuaidi and Uber. However, profitability is a different question – Uber reportedly lost close to a billion dollars in the first six months of 2015; Uber in turn claims that Didi is losing $70 - $80 million a week.
Wang addresses this by saying: “Easy Taxi … expects revenues to cover for operational costs already in 2016. Yet, despite high prospects for early break-even, Easy Taxi won’t sacrifice its growth, which the company believes is still a top priority. This is likely to translate into more marketing initiatives and promotions towards users in the current year".
Related reading from Tnooz:Consolidation is now inevitable in ground transportation (Jan 2016)
Taxi app consolidation reaches Latin America (Dec 2015)
Anti-Uber global alliance gets bigger as Ola and GrabTaxi join in (Dec 2015)