Contxto – If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. That seems to be the logic of one startup in Colombia when it comes to ride-hailing apps. Rather than creating another platform marketplace, Taxia Life teams up with taxi drivers and gives them the tech to win back riders’ trust.
For a month now it’s been operating its app in Bogotá and reportedly has 4,000 registered cab drivers and arranged over one million trips. It can also be found in nine other parts of Colombia, in addition to the city of Córdoba in Argentina.
And things are looking up for the business as it considers an expansion into Mexico.
But these plans aren’t too surprising.
Last November, the startup participated in a scaling program that was organized by Apps.co and Seedstars. During a six-day trip in Mexico, Taxia Life explored its potential market and partnerships there.
Related article: Colombian startups initiate international scaling program to expand to Mexico and Peru
Lack of ride-hailing regulation in Colombia mean taxis rule
Like it or not, only taxis are in the safe zone to legally operate in Colombia. And rather than create an Uber-like marketplace with independent drivers, Taxia Life took another direction.
This startup developed an application for cab drivers to rebuild ties with riders. Among its perks is a tracking system as well as a sharing feature to notify others of your ongoing trip.
If all this sounds like Uber perks but for taxis, you’re not the only one.
Taxia Life also allows users to request a cab via apps like WhatsApp and Facebook.
Related article: Uber strikes back. Colombia’s ban of the ride-hailing app to be appealed
Ranting in 3… 2… 1
You know what’s absurd with this startup’s case?
Taxia Life says one of its differentiators is the efforts it’s making to raise awareness among drivers regarding quality customer service. It even sends messages to chauffeurs to encourage them to be considerate with riders.
An app has to remind a cab driver that it’s important to treat passengers nicely?
I’m glad Taxia Life is doing this, but still, it’s ridiculous that cab drivers can be so careless and get away with it.
Ugh, nuff said.
Related articles: Tech and startups in Colombia!