Mytaxi to change name to Free Now following €1bn BMW and Daimler deal

22 Feb 20195.52k Views

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The ride-hailing firm Mytaxi is undergoing yet another name change following a partnership between BMW and Daimler.

A massive shake-up in the public transport and mobility space is underway in Europe following the announcement of a deal between two German auto giants, Daimler and BMW. Announced today (22 February), the companies said they are pooling a number of their services together to create a joint entity across five different ventures.

They are investing more than €1bn in total to more closely intermesh their five offerings under new names: Reach Now for multimodal services, Charge Now for charging, Free Now for taxi ride-hailing, Park Now for parking and Share Now for car-sharing.

The more immediate sign of change from an Irish perspective will be the fact that the Daimler-owned Mytaxi service will be changing its name to the Free Now brand as part of the deal some time later this year. The other four brands named by Daimler and BMW are currently not operating in Ireland.

‘We are creating a leading global game-changer’

This marks the second name change in less than two years following the UK taxi app Hailo’s merger with Daimler’s Mytaxi service in 2016. During the official switchover from Hailo to Mytaxi, users were required to install the Mytaxi app; however, this time around there will be no need to download the Free Now app as it will update automatically.

“The most important thing to remember is that there will be no change to the Mytaxi service and app,” Mytaxi said. “We’ll still have the same app, the same local team and the same five-star drivers – just with a new name later this year.”

Already one of the largest ride-hailing apps in Europe and Latin America, Free Now serves more than 21m customers and more than 250,000 drivers. In October last year, Mytaxi announced it had carried more than 4m passengers in Ireland in the third quarter of 2018.

“We are creating a leading global game-changer. The 60m customers we already have today will benefit from a seamlessly integrated, sustainable ecosystem of car-sharing, ride-hailing, parking, charging and multimodal transport services,” said Harald Krüger, management board chair of BMW.

“We have a clear vision: these five services will merge ever more closely to form a single mobility service portfolio with an all-electric, self-driving fleet of vehicles that charge and park autonomously, and interconnect with the other modes of transport.”

Colm Gorey is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com