As “sharing economy” services like Uber and Lyft slowly make their way across the globe, they enter into conflict with traditional taxis. In places like South Korea and Germany, regulation has kept them out. However, taxis must adapt in many cities in order to be able to withstand these unregulated challengers. Latvian startup TaxiPocket, which has just gone live, wants to help them fight back with a mobile platform for the modern era.
On the passenger side, the app allows users to get a ride immediately or schedule one later, see who is coming to pick them up and where the cab is currently located, and to pay for the ride. One interesting feature is the ability to set your own price. Users can indicate the price that they would be willing to pay, which sends a notification to drivers who would be willing to do the job at that rate. Users also have the ability to earn free rides with “PocketPoints” by sharing the app with others. On the driver side, users have the ability to accept payments through the app and to see where the passenger is located when they book.
From the perspective of the end-user, one of the nicer aspects of the service is that the platform is free to use. TaxiPocket has opted to instead charge a fixed fee to cab companies based on the number of orders that they process.
Like a lot of startups, they aim to go global. The company is currently focused on their native Latvian market, but is researching the best ways to break into the rest of Europe and the United States. At the moment, the company is operating with more than 100 cab drivers in Riga.
TaxiPocket has already obtained an undisclosed amount of pre-seed funding from LTk Capital and is in the process of raising a round, but is not quite ready to unveil the details on it.