Rivals to ride-hailing giants, Uber, are looking to up the heat across Europe with many of them raising funds to expand into new cities around the continent.
MyTaxi, owned by Daimler AG, are looking to expand in a number of new cities including a few across the United Kingdom. MyTaxi already operate in London and have recently finished a promotion which offered their passengers the luxury of half priced fares on all trips booked through their app over the weekends.
Taxiapp, a ride-hail company based in London have also been working hard to win back passengers, from the bigger corporate backed firms such as Mytaxi and Gett. Taxiapp is run by a team of London Taxi drivers who pride themselves on offering, arguably, the best taxi service in the world.
Estonian based startup, Taxify, who attempted and failed to launch in London, have received backing from Uber's biggest nemesis, Didi Chuxing, last October, and according to reports in Bloomberg , are looking to raise an additional $50 million in this years first quarter to fund expansion plans.
American based firm, Lyft, who are yet to launch in Europe have met several times with london's transport regulators, TFL. The most recent correspondence took place over the phone in October between, then TfL Managing Director Leon Daniels and Lyft Head of Global Policy Mike Masserman to discuss the Mayor of London's transport strategy. Further details of the discussion are not clear, but it is normally common practice for such meets to take place to pave a path into the industry further down the line. Leon Daniel's has since left his post of Managing Director at TfL.
With Uber's ever growing problems with regulators around the globe, competition are seeing an opportunity to strike and gain a competitive foothold in major cities, especially in Europe. In December, Europes top court ruled that Uber must be regulated as a transportation company rather than just a tech company, as it was ruled previously.
Uber are also appealing a decision by Transport For London not to renew their licence. The appeal hearing is set for either April or June. 2018 is likely to be a huge year for all ride-hailing firms and also for traditional taxi services who in most cases have been overlooked by regulator
If you're part of the battle, keep your chin down and your guard up. If you're watching from the sidelines, get your popcorn out and enjoy the show.
Let's get ready to ride-hail!