Rocket Internet’s Easy Taxi tackles Africa

By Silicon Allee |

Continuing its rapid expansion, Rocket Internet-backed taxi-ordering app Easy Taxi, which was first launched in Brazil, has announced that business operations are starting in Nigeria today – its first market in Africa. The news comes only a couple of weeks after it launched its Pakistani version in beta in the city of Lahore.

“In 2011, Easy Taxi started in Brazil to connect taxi drivers and passengers in the best possible way. By now, the app has over 1,500,000 downloads and more than 45,000 taxi drivers in the network. We want to bring this success to other attractive markets and we see high potential in many Asian and African countries,” said Easy Taxi Head of International Expansion Dennis Wang.

The app – available on Android, iOS and some new Blackberry devices – is similar to Germany’s MyTaxi, which recently overcame regulatory hurdles in the US, and London’s Hailo.

To fund the expansion, Easy Taxi has received an additional $10m in funding from Rocket Internet and African Internet Holding (AIH). The latest announcement is no surprise considering Rocket signed a deal with emerging markets telco giant Millicom late last year allowing the two to jointly build internet ventures together. Currently, Millicom holds a 35 per cent share in Rocket’s AIH – which is required to rollout several new businesses in the next three years under the deal – but has the option of going to 100 per cent by September 2016.

Last month, Easy Taxi secured $15m in financing from Latin America Internet Holding (LIH), Rocket Internet’s holding company in the region that is partially owned by Millicom, to strengthen its market position and rollout globally. As for the future, the service is planning to enter Hong Kong, Manila, Bangkok, Fortaleza and Culabá “soon”, according to its website.

Image credit: Flickr user zak mc

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