A Finnish company by the name of Cabforce is looking to enter the taxi business, which has been spurring up quite a bit of discussion and a few C&D-letters in the US lately. Cabforce is planning to build an end to end IT solution for taxi entrepreneurs covering multichannel booking tools for passengers, web based dispatch & fleet management tools as well as software for taxi drivers to interact with clients and the dispatcher.
Cabforce is a year old company that is financially backed by Tekes, ELY (a FInnish govt agency) and a few angel investors. The founders include Andreas Hansson, Tommi Holmgren and Tuukka Ylälahti. They’ve been in stealth mode for far, but will make their first public appearance at the Persontrafik fair in Sweden.
The reason why Cabforce and others are targeting the taxi industry is that it’s one of the dinosaurs who aren’t taking advantage of technology to better serve their customers – leaving the door open for new entrants. Cabforce is looking to revolutionise the who value chain from dispatcher tools to passenger tools and back to different reporting tools for the entrepreneur.
Cabforce is targeting small and medium-sized taxi companies that can win the most with systems like theirs. They’re not the first to market as Taxipal from Estonia has been working on similar solutions. What makes Cabforce cool though is that they’re fully compatible with Taxipal.
Cabforce offers SaaS-tools for the dispatchers to better manage their fleet, but also tools for the driver itself to accept fares and respond to customer queries. For customers, there are mobile tools as well as widgets (eg on the taxi company website) they can use to order a cab.
The market is definitely hot. One of the reasons is that a startup offering similar tools has been sent a cease and desist letter in the US. UberCab since changed their company name to Uber and is looking to continue their business amidst the press.
The markets in Europe are perhaps more fragmented than those in the US and that enables companies such as Cabforce and Taxipal to succeed. As Cabforce is only coming out with their product, there isn’t a lot more to report yet but we’ll keep our eyes open for future development in this front.