Taxify - [Google Images]

Taxify, a leading European ride-hailing company with operations in South Africa, has completed an investment round of $175 million. The company will use the investment to further develop its ride-hailing technology and continue working on best ways to move in cities, particularly in Europe and Africa.

The investment round was led by global automotive leader Daimler that counts several European mobility and technology companies amongst its portfolio. Daimler will also join the board of Taxify.

European venture capital fund Korelya Capital and TransferWise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus joined existing investors including Didi Chuxing in a round that brings Taxify’s valuation to $1 billion.

Gareth Taylor, South Africa country manager for Taxify said: “This investment is exciting for Taxify in South Africa as it will provide additional momentum to expand the platform’s availability to drivers and riders in more cities, apart from Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban where it is already in use.”’

“Taxify has grown exponentially since it launched in South Africa in 2016, with over 100-million kms travelled to date, and our overall growth in 2017 was eight-times that of the previous year,” continued Taylor.

Taxify launched in 2013 in Estonia with the then 19-year-old Markus Villig borrowing college money from his parents to build the first version and personally recruiting first drivers to the platform. Today, Taxify is one of the fastest-growing ride-hailing companies in the world with over 10 million passengers and 500,000 drivers in more than 25 countries.

Markus Villig, CEO and co-founder, Taxify said: “We’re on a mission to build the future of mobility, and it’s great to have the support of investors like Daimler and Didi. The number of rides on Taxify grew by ten times last year, even considering that our home markets Europe and Africa are some of the most complex markets for ride-hailing in the world. Today, more than ten million people globally use Taxify. But this is just the beginning as more and more people give up on car ownership and opt for on-demand transportation.”