Easy Taxi, the international taxi booking mobile application backed by the German startup incubator Rocket Internet has officially kicked off its operations in Egypt at the beginning of this month.
The fast growing company starts its expansion campaign in Africa and the Middle East after receiving a second cash injection from a JV between Rocket Internet and the European telecoms operator Millicom amounting its initial investment for the year to a total of 200 million EGP. This aggressive funding comes after the company experienced skyrocketing growth in the countries of Asia and Latin America specifically Brazil and Colombia, where in a course of 10 months Easy Taxi has accomplished an almost complete domination over the Taxi industry.
The application, which is free, makes getting a taxi the easiest thing in the world; if you are at your home or out some place, a few clicks on your smartphone before going out to the street will ensure a cab waiting for you by the time you get out. The simplicity of the application and the user friendly graphics contribute to its fast spread usage and increasing downloads in different countries.
The company’s expansion plan in Africa and the ME has Egypt or specifically Cairo as its first stop, due to the attractive market attributes of the densely populated city. When asked what is it that qualified Cairo to be the starting point, Founder and Country Manager of Easy Taxi Egypt, Hussein Abdelkarim answers “Cairo is the most populated capital in the region, making transportation one of the pressing issues in the country, and hence any solutions offering more convenience to certain segments of the public will be welcomed and quickly adopted”. He adds that the huge human population, entails a huge taxi population, an availability of supply and demand that allows for skyrocketing growth of the company. “Also since most of the taxis in the city are self-operated as opposed to company managed, there is a huge room for service improvement that eventually leads to better customer experience and improved public transportation services in the country”.
Another indicator that says that Easy Taxi is up for a good start in Egypt, is the similarity in the challenges between Cairo and the other cities that Easy Taxi experienced success in, a fact that implies the company’s management is well equipped against problems like traffic congestions and low smartphone penetration among the drivers community. Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Chile and others are countries that Easy Taxi operates in and had already managed to force its way through such challenges in the early stages. Now Easy Taxi Brazil has more than 45,000 taxis and more than 1.5 million in application downloads while in Colombia, the more recently entered market, the company acquired almost 20,000 drivers and has 700,000 in application downloads.
It’s also worth mentioning that this is not Rocket Internet’s first venture in Egypt. Just earlier this month, on the same day that Easy Taxi was launched, Rocket Internet was celebrating the first anniversary of its Egyptian first born, JUMIA, the e-commerce website that has in a very little time eaten up a good chunk of its competitors’ market share, placing itself in a leadership position in the online retail market. It’s apparent from Rocket Internet’s implied mission statements and also from its on-ground ventures that its niche is rocket-fast growing ventures and companies in emerging markets. So far Easy Taxi seems to be matching that profile in all the markets that it entered, and given the positive indicators of the Egyptian taxi market, it looks like Easy Taxi Egypt won’t be an exception to this trend.