Easy Taxi Nigeria does not consider itself to be in direct competition with Uber in spite of the global taxi app launching in Lagos last year, according to managing director (MD) Bankole Cardoso.
Easy Taxi launched in Lagos in 2013 and has since expanded to Abuja, while Uber joined it last year having previously begun its African operations in South Africa.
Cardoso told Disrupt Africa his company was certainly aware of Uber but said there were other local players with whom it was competing more directly for drivers and users.
“Uber is not direct competition in the sense that they are using a different fleet of cars and we are comfortable with that,” he said.
“At the end of the day, we are both trying to achieve the same objective and that is to get people safely from A to B.”
The startup has more than 1,000 active drivers in Lagos and Abuja, and has several hundred customers each day.
Cardoso said Easy Taxi, which has launched in Egypt, Ghana and Kenya since first arriving in Nigeria, was seeing strong growth and registering more first time users each month.
“The encouraging thing for us is that over 50 per cent of these new users are coming from referrals,” he said.
“I think that’s extremely powerful as we scale this business. We also have a very active user base and we find that majority of our users use us more than twice a month.”
He said growth was the only focus initially but the company has now reached the point where revenue growth is a priority.
“Fortunately, we have a very attractive and competitive corporate service, which we offer to companies. We are helping them cut down on their transportation costs and in one case, a big client of ours is saving close to 30 per cent on their monthly transportation costs. This is where we see significant revenue growth,” Cardoso said.
He said there were clear signs people were starting to accept the model.
“It is innovative, it is exciting and it is more convenient than the alternatives so people have many reasons to use Easy Taxi. All sorts of different people use us for all sorts of different reasons.”