Taxify app launching in Cape Town, Johannesburg

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Smartphone-based taxi hailing app Taxify is in the process of launching in the South African cities of Cape Town and Johannesburg, the first entry the startup has made into an African market.

Taxify, which is headquartered in Estonia but has expanded to a number of markets across the world after closing a US$100,000 seed round last year, allows clients to order a licensed taxi in two simple steps, free of charge.

The app differentiates itself from the likes of Uber as it assists taxi companies in adapting to changes in the technological landscape of their industry, rather than directly competing with them.

“Being affiliated with licensed taxi operators only gives the company an edge over our competitors. Our passengers are always assured that they are in the hands of properly licensed drivers, with the necessary taxi permit and public carrier insurance,” said Taxify South Africa chief executive officer (CEO) Trevor Joseph.

Taxify – which is available on both iOS and Android – has already registered over 250 vehicles on its system, and hopes to exceed 500 vehicles by the end of March. It hopes to launch in other South African cities soon.

Competition in the taxi app space was rife in 2013, but the sector became less busy last year as Zapacab closed down, leaving Uber and Snappcab to battle over tech savvy taxi customers.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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