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Contxto – Picap, the mototaxi app from Colombia, continues to expand aggressively. Since its foundation in Colombia, it expanded to Latin America’s largest markets. Now, it is growing further with pilot programs in Chile and Guatemala.
Last year, the startup reached the 3 million rides mark, expecting to consolidate to 5 million per month with these new efforts. Moreover, it is already operating in 13 cities across Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Peru.
Although it’s not clear in which cities it will premier, I would assume it will be in the capital cities, Santiago and Guatemala City. However, I’m looking more into this.
In Mexico City, the startup already signed up 8,000 drivers. These drivers use motorcycles with a 125 to 150 cylinder engine, in order to maximize gas consumption. In turn, these broader margins allow them to offer cheaper rides. This opens a new mobility alternative to a broader public.
According to La República, they already have permits to operate in Mexico. However, when I talked to Hector Neira, the founder, he told me they were operating under a sponsor model with no revenue, for them to be able to operate legally.
In terms of safety, Mexico’s pilot program is implementing different measures to diminish risk. Some of these include road safety tutorials for drivers, protection usage and hygiene of helmets.
In Colombia, Picap’s operation already has 100,000 service providers between motorcycles, particular cars and taxis. Furthermore, motorcycles still represent 80 percent of the operation.
Signing up as a driver-partner is free and any user looking to add another revenue stream to their lifestyle can benefit from Picap. My only concern here is the potential risks of making it so easy for anyone to become a driver.
Now, it’s not that Uber and other mobility apps are extremely safe, but even with their psychometric tests and filters, they’ve been involved in a couple of scandals from time to time. Not sure if loosening these standards will help.
New car service
With the hopes of increasing alternatives for users, the startup is trying out new models. In fact, it recently released the platform for taxis to sign up. To date, more than 5,000 taxi drivers joined the app in Colombia. This new service is yet to arrive in their remaining markets where only motorcycles operate.
Apparently, they’re also leveraging their current driver fleet to explore delivery services. So, in summary, their expansion strategy involves not only more cities but also more services.
I’m glad to see they’re growing fast and adding more options for users.