Don’t look now, but there is YET ANOTHER online taxi hailing service that we weren’t aware of before now. The service is called YourTaxiNow, and unlike is typical for e-hailing services currently jockeying for dominance in Nigeria (Taxipixi, Uber, Easy Taxi
I’m not quite sure just how much technology is inside YourTaxiNow, however. The company styles itself “your #1 Online/call centre Executive Taxi Booking Platform”, but I suspect the latter is more true than the former. There is no google-map enabled ride hailing functionality to be seen on the website. From what I can see, this is a taxi booking company that conducts most of its business over the phone, even if it has a website where you can fill a form to request a taxi — you might as well send them an email while you’re at it.
The company says it has a driver locator app, and a “customised live portal at www.yourtaxinow.com” (to which I have already referred). “The customer app will be ready shortly on the Play Store”, they said via email.
Driver ratings and reliability are the main value proposition they tout, both of which will presumably depend on technology that isn’t quite apparent on YourTaxiNow.
“Our customers can also rate our drivers and book preferred taxi directly. With this we are able to solve the problem of driver’s not being reliable and trust worthy”.
YourTaxiNow founder, David Chijioke says he plans on expanding the service to Port Harcourt and Lagos in 2015. His story is interesting. By his account, he started out driving a borrowed taxi in 2012. “Inspired by hunger”, he went on to acquire more vehicles, creating the company that would be known as YourTaxiNow.
Funding was a challenge in the beginning, Chijioke says, telling of how he subscribed to the concept of delayed gratification in order to justify re-investing every dime in the business. His first loan came from a micro-finance bank. Then angel investors seeded the venture. He would eventually benefit from the Nigerian federal government YouWin grant.
“At the moment we are discussing with some foreign VC firms for major funding”, he says.
YourTaxiNow currently employs 9 team members and works with 254 drivers. Chijioke says the company aims to use the increasing spread of the internet across the country to alleviate the inconveniences of a highly unregulated and charlatan-ridden taxi services space by providing a convenient, affordable and reliable alternative. One might doubt the code, but perhaps not this man’s heart.