Europe’s newest unicorn Taxify raises $175m to take on Uber

30 May 2018

From left: Taxify founders Martin Villig and Markus Villig. Image: Taxify

Estonian start-up Taxify achieves a $1bn valuation.

Taxify, an Estonian start-up included in our list of 12 terrific Tallinn start-ups to watch in 2018, has joined the unicorn club.

The company has just closed $175m in new funding that values it at around $1bn.

The round was led by German automotive giant Daimler, which also owns Mercedes-Benz, and which is understood to have taken a 10pc stake in Taxify.

Interestingly, Daimler also acquired a 60pc stake in Hailo and merged it with Mytaxi more than a year ago.

Revving up the future of mobility

Daimler is making a number of strategic bets on the future, with the acquisition of car-sharing company Car2Go and investments in car-pooling companies including Flinc, Via and Turo.

Daimler and BMW recently consolidated their mobility businesses that include parking apps and ride-sharing apps, while rival Ford is betting on envisioning what the future of mobility will look like in a world where car ownership will look more like a mobile subscription service.

Taxify is one of Europe’s answers to Uber and operates in 20 countries across the continent as well as the Middle East and Africa.

One of the fastest-growing ride-sharing platforms in Europe, it was founded in 2013 by Markus Villig, Martin Villig and Oliver Leisalu.

It serves more than 10m users and more than 500,000 drivers. Investors include Chinese mobile transport platform player Didi Chuxing.

Prior to the investment round led by Daimler, the company had raised $2.4m in funding.

Updated, 8.47am, 30 May 2018: This article was updated to correct mistaken figures about Taxify’s users (more than 10m, not 3m), drivers (more than 500,000, not 100,000) and investment raised prior to this round ($2.4m, not $2.1m). 

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years