“Click A Taxi” is the world’s largest network of quality taxi companies and the industry leader in providing next generation digital tools for the global taxi market.
Below is the full interview that we have conducted with Mr. ‘Halskov Nissen’ regarding his start-up company “Click A Taxi”;
1. What is it exactly that you do and what “Click A Taxi” is all about?
Click A Taxi is global taxi aggregation service providing you with a handpicked quality taxi in just a few clicks, anywhere in the world. The company’s primary user interface is our consumer app, but the system is designed to integrate with any number of back end systems to help businesses book a taxi.
2. When has “Click A Taxi” been founded? And what stage is “Click A Taxi” currently at?
Click A Taxi was founded in 2010 and went live in Denmark in October 2011. We are currently live in the UK, Ireland and Scandinavia. We expect to expand to all of Western Europe and Australia this autumn. Click A Taxi will cover the Americas and major cities in Asia by the end of 2012. So we are in an exciting stage of rapid expansion.
3. What is “Click A Taxi”‘s business model and how does it work?
Our business model is based on a pay per booking arrangement with our taxi partners. Click A Taxi users are not charged anything extra for booking through the app. The taxi company they ride with simply pays us a small referral fee (+/- 40 Euro cents) for each booking they receive. The arrangement is good for both taxi users and businesses because it minimises costs on both ends.
4. How did your team meet? And who in your team does what?
Søren Halskov Nissen (CEO and Founder)
Nikolaj Køster (Director of Marketing and Communications)
Peter Theill (Senior Developer)
Michael Vivet (Director of Development)
We have an additional fourteen employees based at our Copenhagen office. We are divided into an Operations Team, Marketing and Communication and a Development team.
5. What, exactly, makes you different from existing options, what will make your product and/or service stand out in the marketplace? In other words what’s unique about you and what’s new about what you make?
Click A Taxi is the first taxi service aggregator with the potential to provide truly international service for our users. There are a lot of taxi apps and aggregators on the market. But only Click A Taxi provides global or even nation-wide coverage. We provide the kind of coverage that allows our users to throw away the five different taxi apps they have for several different cities and be confident that they can use one app to get a high quality taxi service wherever they happen to be.
6. What is your growth like? And what milestones has “Click A Taxi” achieved so far?
At the start of 2012 the company had only six employees, as of August 2012, we have eighteen and counting. We started in Denmark, but now provide full coverage in five different countries, with several more to come in autumn 2012. We currently book one taxi every five minutes on average and are excited to say that we expect to break the one hundred thousand downloads mark in September 2012.
7. Who are your competitors? And what is “Click A Taxi”‘s competitive advantage over them?
Companies like Uber and Hailo are similar in that they provide car aggregation services. However they simply don’t have the same global reach (or ambition) as Click A Taxi. We also develop relationships directly with taxi companies instead of drivers. We believe this is the most efficient way to create scalable networks.
8. What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?
Our biggest obstacle is always making sure we have the right team in place to get the job done. We’re pretty much constantly expanding. It’s crucial that every hiring decision we make is the right one – we need people to be dedicated and ready to give 110%. Hiring the wrong people is catastrophic at worst and a waste of everyone’s time at best. So we make sure that we always screen carefully to make sure that the person we hire is ready to grow and change with the role.
9. What are the key things about your field that outsiders don’t understand?
A taxi company is not just a taxi company. It would be easy to just put together any old list of global taxi companies. But we only partner with one, carefully selected taxi company in each location we cover. We have an operations team of eight who are working like mad to ensure that every taxi company we deal with provides the highest quality of service, are reliable and safe for our users.
10. Why are you going to succeed?
We have an excellent team who are all highly focused on getting the job done in accordance with the highest possible standards. And then doing a bit more just to make sure it works out better than expected. We work hard and have a lot of fun and we all want to see Click A Taxi conquer the world. We also have an unparalleled strategy for expansion.
11. If “Click A Taxi” succeeds, what additional areas might you be able to expand into?
Click A Taxi is already expanding. The dynamic nature of our system allows us to integrate Click A Taxi into just about any back end system you can name. this makes it possible for us to set up deals with the likes of dinnerbooking.com to make sure staff at their 250 plus restaurants can always get a cab for customers.
12. Why did you choose this idea and concept to build “Click A Taxi” based on?
In my earlier incarnation as an operations and logistics manager, I was required to travel and live in a range to international destinations. Like most people who travel regularly, I found that the process of getting a cab in a foreign location can be stressful and frustrating. I concluded that finding a local phone number, navigating a phone conversation or a website in a foreign language and then worry that the cab company might not be reliable, safe or reasonably priced were all elements that even the most experienced traveller could live without. So I decided to build an international taxi service that travellers could rely on to be reliable, safe and reasonably priced.
13. What have you learned so far from launching your idea?
Attention to detail is crucial. As a product hits the market there are generally a lot of little creases that need to be ironed out. You can become very good at anticipating small bumps if you pay enough attention to the details – this is the difference between a product that feels professional and sleek to the user and one that feels half baked. It’s also very easy to be distracted by interesting features and diverge from the original idea or plans. We have tried to stay on track and keep sight of our original goals as much as possible.
14. Six months from now, what’s going to be your biggest problem?
Our biggest challenge for the future is in gaining the user volume we need to make the company profitable. Of course, reaching that goal requires a number of smaller steps. So at the moment we are focused 100% on completing those. Our global rollout is the most consuming of those tasks. We have a team of eight just focused on researching quality taxi companies in our target rollout destinations and getting them online as soon as possible.
15. What’s the benefit for the customer/user?
With Click A Taxi, users only need one taxi app instead of one for each city they visit. Additionally, our careful selection of taxi companies ensures that they wherever they go, our users can always be sure that their taxis will be reliable, safe and provide the best service. Other apps are known to contact drivers directly, but their taxi networks grow slowly, our app provides a lot of cars from day one in a location.
16. How did customers / users find out about you?
The people who use our consumer app hear about it from a range of places. Reviews and profiles are worth the time and effort it can take to drum up press. But good old fashioned word of mouth is the better than any article. That’s why we spend so much time perfecting our product and making sure our existing users are more than satisfied.
17. Who are your current customers / users? Who are your target customers / users?
The current user base for our consumer app reflects our Danish roots. But because Click A Taxi has global ambitions, our natural habitat is amongst travellers and business people. As the app expands we expect to see a diversification of our user groups, but we predict that the app will be very popular amongst those who travel to regularly.
18. Where do new customers / users come from and what makes new customers/users try you?
We are the first taxi aggregator to really make an effort to cover entire countries instead of just large cities. So a lot of our new users come to us because they live in smaller regional cities, which have been ignored by other companies. They are more often than not pleasantly surprised to find that if they live in Oxford, in the UK, they can use an app to book a taxi.
19. What do your customers / users say about your product and/or service?
Our customers are generally surprised (and delighted) to find that we serve so many different locations. Some people take our country-wide coverage as a kind of challenge and we enjoy it when they are shocked to find they can use the app out at their beach house or in their home town. we’re always excited when we launch in a new place to see how our users test the boundaries of the service and to set out to respond to any coverage gaps very quickly.
20. How are you going to scale?
We are already scaling internationally. Our network of taxi companies and our staff are constantly growing in order to support this expansion. We are adding a new country to our network approximately every thirty days in 2012 – and new languages to our lunch table almost as frequently! Our team of researchers is constantly setting new goals and researching local companies to make sure we find the best to partner with.
21. What’s the biggest missing feature? The one thing customers/users keep asking for?
Many customers are now asking for an in app payment feature. This is something that we’re working on for future versions. But we do not want to take our eyes off the main goal of making sure we are operational in as many countries as possible before we start being too concerned about building extra features.
22. Are you going to internationalize? And if yes how are you planning to expand your start-up’s operations accordingly?
Click A Taxi is international by nature. We are already the world’s largest international taxi aggregator and we continue to grow daily. Key to our plans is building the international network of quality taxi companies that will be the backbone of our service to both business and consumer users. Our operations team spends their time researching new locations, local taxi companies and setting up support systems for users to facilitate this expansion.
23. How big do you think you can get? Why? And how you are planning to achieve your goals?
Click A Taxi has global ambitions. We want to be the go-to taxi service aggregator for both businesses and consumers all over the world. We can achieve that by continuing to work hard on our global rollout. Our fantastic team works hard every day to get us on the ground in new territories and we’re going to keep at it.
24. Are you looking to hire a new workforce? And if yes, what job vacancies do you currently offer and where can potential applicants contact you at?
Click A Taxi is always on the lookout for new talent for all three of our departments. If you are a talented developer or a marketing whizz you can email us (email@example.com), although we have no specific vacancies in those departments at the moment. Copenhagen is a beautiful place to live. Come join us!
25. Are you looking for partnership opportunities or funding from Venture Capitals (VC) or other funding sources? Or your business is self-sustainable? And if the first option applies where can potential partners / investors contact you at?
Click A Taxi has just completed a funding round. We are currently not actively seeking investors. If you are interested in becoming a Click A Taxi partner through your taxi service or perhaps you have a business that might benefit from integrating with our global taxi booking network, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
26. What advice do you have for fresh entrepreneurs?
Stay focused and hire a good team. With a startup you will work harder than you ever have before, but the results will be more rewarding than anything you have ever achieved before.