Taxify, Uber’s main competitor on the European market, will expand its services in Romania and introduce e-scooter hires along with its ride-sharing service, according to economica.net.
The announcement was made by Taxify’s Chief Product Officer, Jevgeni Kabanov, during the How to Web conference that took place in Bucharest, but he did not provide a specific date for the introduction of the new service.
“We will certainly bring the e-scooter hire service to Romania as well. I can’t give you a date, but at some point we will bring this service here. We generally launch new services in capital and then expand to smaller cities, so I’m assuming we’ll do the same in Romania as well,” Jevgeni Kabanov told Economica.net in an interview during the conference.
In Paris, where Taxify’s electric scooters were introduced in September, the fee is 15 eurocents per minute, with a minimum fee of EUR 1 per use. Taxify’s system is dockless, meaning there are no designated parking areas for the scooters. The scooters are equipped with GPS and passengers can unlock them by scanning a QR code on their phone. Each night, Taxify finds and collects the scooters to recharge and maintain them.
“The service is working very well in Paris and we’re very happy about it. We rented a huge warehouse where we bring them every night. There are thousands of scooters which are distributed across town in the mornings so people in Paris can use them,” Kabanov explained.
He added that the Taxify app will soon get a major upgrade, which will improve maps and driver ID features, but it still won’t allow users to add multiple destinations into one trip nor will it show the user’s rating, as Uber’s app does.
“We always have lots of things to do to improve the app, but we can only do them one at a time, and these aren’t among our priorities,” the Taxify manager said.
As for the company’s expansion to more cities in Romania, he said that they are looking at cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants, and that the Romanian market is among Taxify’s top ten markets.
Taxify also intends to recruit new staff in Bucharest, for roles such as software engineer, product manager or data engineer.
“We want to have a technology hub here and we’ll do massive recruitment. The capacity of our current offices is 100 people, but if need be, we will move to a larger building. We are delighted with the talents we’ve seen in Bucharest and we want to build independent team who are responsible for the products they develop,” Kabanov said.
Taxify has over 15 million users registered in 25 countries. In Romania, the app is available in Bucharest, Cluj and Timisoara. It started out in 2013 in Estonia and has attracted EUR 1.5 million in funding from international investors.