Mercedes-Benz proprietor Daimler has taken a stake in Taxify, a car service competitor of Uber, ascending the Estonian company a much-vaunted “unicorn” valuation of $1 billion (£750M). Taxify got $175M from German auto giant Daimler. European reserve Korelya Capital and Taavet Hinrukus, author of Transferwise, also joined the financing round. Daimler, owners of MyTaxi, will join Taxify’s board following the financing.
“Taxify is an ideal addition to our existing and extensive mobility services portfolio,” said Joerg Lamparter, Head of Mobility Services at Daimler Financial Services, in a statement Wednesday. Jörg Lamparter, Head of New Services at Daimler, said: “Taxify is an ideal addition to our existing and extensive mobility services portfolio. With its fast-growing ride-hailing activities and extensive geographical coverage, Taxify is a perfect fit with Daimler.”
Taxify has 10 million clients on its platform currently, and it is available in 25 countries. The organization entered London, a key battleground for Uber, a year ago. Taxify said it would use the financing to build its technology and grow home markets like Europe and Africa. The company isn’t creating autonomous systems, but rather, it’s focused on running a system of vehicles. It is seeking Daimler for its administration in building self-governing driving frameworks.
“Among all of the carmakers, we saw Daimler as the most progressive in both ride-sharing and autonomous cars,” Markus Villig, Taxify’s founder, told the Financial Times.
The financing comes as Uber, the world’s best known ride service, tries to reshape its public image under new Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi. Under previous supervisor Travis Kalanick Uber was hit with a series of grievances, from inappropriate behaviour against the organization to charges that it attempted to dodge regulations in different urban areas.
In London, the organization is battling to keep its permit to work after a boycott by the city’s transport regulator a year ago. In 2017, a British judge declared that Uber drivers ought to be named formal workers rather than independent contractors, showing a test for both Uber and the supposed “gig economy.” Uber has long asserted its drivers are independently employed as opposed to representatives, and are thus not qualified for rights like holiday pay and a minimum wage.