These guys are quietly reinventing the taxi industry. As simple as opening up your Cabify app and ordering a chauffeur-driven car, straight away. First class cars, private drivers and a beautifully designed app, all in one. And no pay-in-cash hassle, thanks. Whilst some of their competitors are making a lot of noise and trying to conquer the whole world at once, in some cases even crossing the line between what’s legal and not, Cabify has grown fast in Spain and Latin America. Apart from the consumer side, they have also launched Cabify for business and events, making it easier for corporates to manage business miles. Last April they closed an $8 million Series A investment, led by the Spanish VC Seaya Ventures, milestone that confirms Cabify as a pretty serious player in this sector.
We interviewed Juan de Antonio, Cabify CEO & Co-founder.
Question. How does your business model work?
Answer. Cabify is the first app that allows ordering executive cars with drivers via mobile telephones or computers providing immediate confirmation of the service requested. It offers the possibility of monitoring the localization with your mobile phone at any time. It also provides a secure payment through PayPal or credit card once the user is logged in the platform and no transaction with the driver is needed. In addition, customers can choose the type of vehicle and will be quoted the price of their trip in advance.
Q. Cabify delivers a premium proposition, with a minimum price per journey of €10. How do you target the audience willing to pay for this better class service?
A. Cabify was born with the idea of changing the traditional taxi service in favor of the consumer by providing high quality transportation options at affordable prices and adding value through technology; and we found the opportunity there. We target our audience with multiple tools such as digital marketing, PR, promotions and events.
Q. Cabify, Uber, Lyft, Djump, MyTaxi, Hailo, SaferTaxi, EasyTaxi, Sidecar… Is the market place getting too busy? Is that why Cabify focuses on Spain and Latin America?
A. Cabify has already launched in Spain, Perú, México and Chile, and many more are on the way. We think there will be room for at least three players in each region. We focus on the markets we believe have the most potential.
Q. Uber cars have been physically attacked by taxi drivers. Have you had any incidents like this? Is Cabify 100% legal?
A. Cabify offers guarantees and security to passengers and drivers in compliance with the law in each country where it operates. We never had an incident and for instance, in Spain, taxi is offered as an option in our marketplace.
Q. Uber and Lyft together have risen more than $600M so far. Is this the kind of investment Cabify will need to remain competitive?
A. At this stage we are redefining the rules in the personal transportation industry, aligning the incentives of passengers and drivers. And our strategy is already paying back. Cabify has recently been recognized by The Next Web as the second fastest growing Spanish technology start- up in the last three years. We just closed a Series A capital round of 8 million dollars led by the Spanish investment fund Seaya Ventures that will reinforce our growth. We don’t need much more capital to continue winning in the markets where we are already present.
Q. How would you describe Cabify team and culture?
A. Everyone at our company is passionate about changing the rules of the game and providing an excellent service. We are a very horizontal organization that encourages owning your work and self-disruption.
Q. What has been your most exciting day at Cabify?
A. Definitely the day I went out with the Spanish team to celebrate the last financing round and broke a tooth. I got it fixed, so we are ready for the next round.