Estonian on-demand car app Taxify raises $175M led by German car manufacturer Daimler

Martin and Markus Villig, founders of Taxify / Photo: Taxify Press Kit

Taxify, the Estonian ride-sharing platform, Uber’s European biggest rival, raises $175M in a funding led by the German automotive giant, Daimler, the startup reported. The funding was also supported by Korelya Capital, Taavet Hinrikus – the founder of another successful Estonian startup Transferwise, as well as by an old Taxify investor – Didi Chuxing from China. Reportedly, Daimler valued the startup at $ 1billion. With this funding, according to Crunch Base, the Taxify’s total funding to date is estimated at $177,2 million.

Founded in 2013 by the two brothers Martin and Markus Villig, one of them ex-employee at Skype, Taxify is a leading platform connecting riders to private drivers or licensed taxis. According to company’s data, Taxify is serving over 10 million customers in more than 25 countries and employs more than 500.000 drivers.  As announced by Markus Villing, this new funding will help the startup to further expand the company in Europe and Africa and to upgrade their technology.

“This [funding] will help us move faster toward our mission of building the best way to move in cities and will bring Taxify to many more locations that are already waiting for us to launch”, wrote Taxify team on the Facebook page announcing the funding.

“Among all of the car-makers, we saw Daimler as the most progressive in both ride-sharing and autonomous cars,” Markus Villig, Taxify’s founder, told the Financial Times (FT). Reportedly he is looking to Daimler for its leadership in engineering autonomous driving systems to help them on “their mission to build future of mobility”.

For Daimler on the other hand, the investment in Taxify is yet another addition to the company’s strategy to invest more in the ride-sharing platforms. This step seems understandable and prudent,  having in mind the statements made by startups similar to Taxify claiming that “more and more people give up on car ownership and opt for on-demand transportation”. To date, the car manufacturer mostly known by its brand Mercedes Benz has an investment in many similar startups such as Flinc, car2Go, Turo, Taxibeat and many others.

“Taxify is an ideal addition to our existing and extensive mobility services portfolio. With its fast-growing ride-hailing activities and extensive geographical coverage, Taxify is a perfect fit with Daimler”, say for FT Jorg Lamparted, head of new services at Daimler.