We’ve been informed that Rocket Internet’s transport network company, Easy Taxi is on its way out of Africa. The mobile e-hailing service was founded in Brazil in 2011, before it kicked off an aggressive global expansion. An expansion that started to unravel when they exited India in December 2014, and eventually the rest of Asia in January 2016.
Is this a shocker? Probably not. The writing has been on the wall for a while now. We started hearing whispers of their shutdown in Nigeria since mid-February. The Easy Taxi Nigeria twitter account did not make it into the new year, while the one in Kenya was seen active as recently as 6 hours ago. Although, a user has complained that the app has been unresponsive for a while…
@EasyTaxiKE Aware that your app is not responsive? Called about it 4 times and no assistance so far…
— Wachuka (@SisterKilljoy) April 19, 2016
The Rocket Internet-backed company wants to focus on its home base, Latin America, where it already operates in 16 countries and covers more cities than its arch-nemesis, Uber. To strengthen its position in that space, it merged with a Colombian taxi app named Tappsi. I think it makes sense for Easy Taxi to play to their strengths, and not continue to participate in an expensive attrition war with the company from San Francisco.
Even though the Easy Taxi car has sputtered in Africa, the AIG train will not stop. They raised around $80 million earlier this month, and before that, EUR300 million from Orange. Everyone wants a piece of them apparently, presumably to take advantage of some impending e-commerce revolution in Africa. I wish them godspeed.
This is a developing story, and we will update it as new information comes in. Hat tip to our friends at Techweez for breaking it.