Rocket Internet's multi-geography mobile taxi app 'Easy Taxi', which expanded its operations to India early this year, has raised $40 million in Series D funding led by the Russian Phenomen Ventures with participation of Tengelmann Ventures.
"The new round of funding will allow us to continue our growth trajectory in existing markets, advance our technology, scale our operations and improve our service towards more audiences and geographies. In particular, the expertise of our new investors aligns with our ambition to further increase our market share in Asia and consolidate our leadership in Latin America," said Dennis Wang, co-CEO of Easy Taxi.
Easy Taxi was launched in Brazil in 2011 by Rocket Internet and currently operates in 32 countries and 162 cities worldwide. It entered India and started its operations by adding Mumbai to its network.
The app, available for iOS, Android and new Blackberry devices, confirms the customer's pickup point and orders the closest cab in the vicinity, with the press of a button. Post that, a confirmation of the driver's name, photo and car model, and plate number are sent to the phone. After that, customers can follow the vehicle's location in real-time as it approaches.
This is similar to apps run by names like Ola Cabs among others. The other prominent players in the business is Meru, Easy Cabs, Taxi for Sure, Savaari and global giant Uber. Some of these are hybrid players who also own some of the cabs on the road while others are essentially booking platforms like Easy taxi.
Dennis Wang, co-CEO at Easy Taxi, said: "We are very proud to have secured this new round of funding, which will allow us to continue our growth trajectory in existing markets, advance our technology, scale our operations and improve our service towards more audiences and geographies. In particular, the expertise of our new investors aligns with our ambition to further increase our market share in Asia and consolidate our leadership in Latin America."
"In the last year we were able to add over 150,000 drivers to our network, bringing it now to around 185,000. We complete millions of rides per month across 160+ cities in 30+ countries worldwide, and the additional funding will enable us to continue working towards our mission of making the traditional taxi industry function in a much more convenient and safe way than it ever has," according to Tallis Gomes, co-CEO.
Last year, Easy Taxi raised $7 million from iMena Holdings and received another round of undisclosed amount from Rocket Internet, Latin America Internet Holding (LIH) and African Internet Holding (AIH).
The company's closest competitor is Uber which has operations in more than 120 cities across the globe and had recently closed $1.2 billion in fresh funding from institutional investors, mutual funds, private equity and VC investors at $17 billion pre-money valuation. It is the most heavily funded company in this space worldwide.0
While Phenomen Ventures is a $300 million venture and growth equity firm having presence in U.S., Europe and Israel, Tengelmann Venture, a Germany family owned group's venture capital company has invested in over 40 fast growing start-ups worldwide.
The funding comes at a time when Rocket Internet itself is said to be aiming at a market float and raise as much as $4 billion. Various group firms incubated by Rocket Internet, some of which have presence in India too, have recently raised external funding including, FoodPanda and Jabong.