Startups: Taxibeat, disrupting the greek taxi business
Startups in Greece aren’t common. There is SocialWhale, Indifex and a couple other cool startups, but the reality is that we do not have the startup culture of Silicon Valley or that of NYC—or anything that is close to that level. There is a pun here in Thessaloniki (in which SocialWhale and other awesome guys are based). We call the place “Salonikon Valley”. I think you get the point, it’s pretty much obvious.
But sun shines for all and you don’t have to be in Thessaloniki. Nick Drandakis and Nick Damilakis, both from Athens, Greece, started up Taxibeat. Taxibeat is a new unique way to find a taxi in Athens (and soon in other major Greek cities). With just two taps from your iPhone or Android you can book the taxi driver you want and who is the closest to you. While you’re waiting you can watch his GPS signal on your iPhone app, then rate him. Taxibeat’s business plan is kind of similar to Flattr (at least for the driver). Suppose x the number of clients a driver got in a month, then at the end of each month the driver will pay x*0.49€. For the end-user it’s totally free.
But it’s not the technical part that makes me like Taxibeat (which is great by the way). There are some key-facts, which I think make Taxibeat awesome. Let me list them.
- Easyness. Taxibeat is very easy to use. Just two taps and you booked your taxi.
- Rate the driver. Rating will give a great feedback for each driver’s quality for the customers-users. Plus that you can leave comments too—not only rate with starts.
- Easy interface. The UI & UX must be easy to use. Not everyone is a geek or spend much time to play-understand the app. You need fast and responsive clients. Taxibeat has that.
- Awesome for the tourists. It’s a well-known fact that many taxi drivers in Greece aren’t the best guys around. See also “rate the driver”.
And there’s something more, for which I like Taxibeat the most.
It can disrupt the taxi business as it is now in Greece and make a fresh start for them. It can be the force to make radical new things in this field. And the best thing? I believe it can.