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Latin American taxi app Easy Taxi has just secured a US$15-million funding round from its original backer Latin America Internet Holding.
According to the company, which is a product of German startup clone factory Rocket Internet, it is one of the largest internet investments in the region in the past few months and shows that investors are confident in its performance.
The app has expanded across Latin America since its founding in Brazil in 2011 and plans are apparently afoot to take it to an even wider market.
Dennis Wang, Head of International Expansion of Easy Taxi: “When we started the company in 2011, we had only one goal: To connect taxi drivers and passengers the smoothest, easiest and safest way possible. Less than one year later we can say: We made it! With more than 30,000 taxi drivers in our network and nearly one-million downloads and counting, we already gained a strong competitive edge in 30 cities across nine countries. With the recent round of funding, we want to reinforce our position as market leader and continue our global expansion.”
Currently, Easy Taxi operates in Peru, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Malaysia and South Korea and there are more countries to be announced very soon.
According to Wang, the new funds will be invested in adding new functionalities and features to Easy Taxi’s applications, develop new channels, support the company’s international expansion and, finally, further enhance the company’s renowned customer service.
“Easy Taxi has pioneered, worldwide, one of the first and most innovative initiatives to combine education, culture and public transportation, called “Bibliotaxi”, through which passengers can borrow books that are available inside Easy Taxi cabs and return them in a next trip, like a mobile library. The program already runs in Sao Paulo and is being expanded to many more cities. We also take our social responsibility very seriously, and in addition to simply ambitioning to make traffic better in big cities, we are now a major player in the “Don’t Drink And Drive” campaigns across the markets we operate, having established partnerships with bars and restaurants to promote responsible drinking,” says Tallis Gomes, co-founder and CEO of the Brazilian operation.
The value proposition of EasyTaxi is fairly simple: download/open the Easy Taxi app, available for iOS, Android and the new BlackBerry devices, confirm your pickup point and order your cab with the press of a button.
In seconds, the company claims, you will receive confirmation of the name, photo and car model/plate of your driver, and will be able to follow the vehicle’s location in real-time as it approaches you. You can save favorite addresses, check ride history and use many more features constantly being added. The company adds that, since drivers are checked for compliance before joining the network, “passengers do not need to worry about their safety and can simply enjoy their ride”.