Taxify plans to go head to head with Uber in the highly competitive London taxi-hailing market this week, after the Silicon Valley giant allowed it to make inroads on the edges of Europe and in major African cities. Laura Frykberg reports.
23-years-old and already the CEO.. Of his own company. Markus Villig's drive hasn't stopped either.. Now launching his Estonian ride-hailing app Taxify, in London... (SOUNDBITE) (English) TAXIFY CEO AND FOUNDER MARKUS VILLIG SAYING: we're here to bring an alternative, something that will treat the passengers better so that they pay less, while the drivers are earning more. That means competing against the BIGGEST player... In that market - U.S. based Uber. Villig though, has a plan to overtake it... Charging just 15 percent commission from drivers.. Whereas Uber takes between 20-30. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TAXIFY DRIVER, RARES CIPRIAN NECULA SAYING: If you want to you can earn more money so it is up to what you need.... But Taxify's London launch could earn it an enemy. The traditional Black Cab company is no fan of Uber... Which it says employs drivers with less road knowledge.. And undercuts the industry. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS REPORTER LAURA FRYKBERG SAYING: Adding another ride hailing app to this market could see traditional black cabs go out of business altogether. That may be a little down the road.. But Villig says app-based ride hailing is the direction the industry is going. His company operates in 19 countries already. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TAXIFY CEO AND FOUNDER MARKUS VILLIG SAYING: Private hire is growing really rapidly around the world. There is millions of people who want to use transport apps. And that could have an environmental benefit.. if fewer people own cars... The question now is can this newcomer from the east.. Challenge the established company from the west.