SaferTaxi | Startup Time – Chile, Argentina & Brazil | English Version
I could write about lots of our benefits, but I interviewed the CEO and Co-Founder, Clemens Raemy who gave me the honor of his participation here on my blog, sharing all details about the app which is currently operating in 3 countries (Chile, Argentina & Brazil), with more than 5.500 taxi drivers and more than 1.200.000 users.
Here in Brazil, it works in 2 cities, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and i can tell you, we have been experiencing an incredible growth. The startup’s investors Kazek Ventures, Otto Capital & Draper Associate (Hotmail, Skype) have raised 8,4 million reals.
What is SaferTaxi and how did you get the idea?
“SaferTaxi is a mobile application to book and pay for taxi rides. The idea was born back in 2009, when I was backpacking for 6 months in South America. I had several bad encounters with drivers overcharging a gringo, taking me the extra long route, and even a secuestro express. Having had these experiences combined with me falling in love with the Latin American culture and way of life, I decided that I wanted to return to this part of the world and tackle a problem that could help not only the foreigners, but also the locals. Hence, SaferTaxi was born in August 2009.”
Which cities are you currently working in? what is the prediction for expansion?
“Today SaferTaxi is present in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, and Buenos Aires. We certainly plan to expand further in Brazil, but will do this slowly. For us the focus is to first offer an excellent service to the passengers and drivers in our existing network.”
Now that there are many taxi apps appearing in Brazil, what advantage does SaferTaxi has to offer?
“There are several applications that have emerged over the past two years. We very much respect our competitors, but we are certain that our product is superior for passengers and taxi drivers. In summary, SaferTaxi has the largest engagned driver network, has safetystandards, offers free fast speed Internet accesss in all taxis, and has a corporate solution. Most importantly SaferTaxi has the largest engaged taxi driver network, meaning you as the passenger get always a much closer taxi than with any other application. Equally important is that we offer safety, as our name states. SaferTaxi does background checks on all drivers and has users constantly rating the drivers to continue to collect valuable feedback. Based on these ratings and car quality, the user can choose to accept drivers that offer themselves or reject them. Furthermore, SaferTaxi is the only application that offers users free high speed Internet in any taxi. Finally, SaferTaxi has a corporate customer solution, that allows seamless integration with current corporate structures or accounting principles and that takes away the hassle to ever pay a taxi in cash again.”
What is the main challege for a startup such as yours once you have raised a milionare investiment?
“Thanks to the hard work of our team, SaferTaxi was able to gain the trust of some of the most well-known Venture Capital firms in South America and the US. In total SaferTaxi has received 8M R$ of investments. However, with this money, SaferTaxi as a startup has significantly changed. We are no longer three guys sitting behind a computer, but have to build organizational structures. Instead of the founders being involved in all day to day work, we are now more focusing on leading the team members that then in turn lead their own team. It is very nice to have seen the team grow so much and we are very proud of everybody that chose to join in our vision and work with us.”
A startup that is present in more than one country needs to focus on each culture, tell us about this.
“You are absolutely right that with four offices in three different countries, two local languages plus English, and team members from over 15 different nationalities present a challenge. However, we feel that we were able to build a very consistent SaferTaxi culture across our offices. We have several measures in place to ensure that the their is a vivid exchange of ideas and contacts between the teams. For example we have twice a month a call between the main stake holders in the countries or we have teams that go across geographies. Nevertheless, the firm culture is a challenge that we face and are working hard on. ”
Clemens, thank you!! Bets regards to you and our team!!!
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