Drandakis Says Taxibeat Beats Waiting

2drandakis33__01__304The creator of the service Taxibeat, Nikos Drandakis told Bloomberg Businessweek Global Economics dthat his innovative idea was successful because it filled a business niche.

“Taxibeat is a mobile application that helps a consumer easily locate nearby taxis and choose the best available taxi based on the feedback that previous passengers have given. We introduce a reputation mechanism in the taxi industry, which is something that didn’t exist,” Drandakis explained about the service.

In the service’s website, one can read that “getting a taxi is never going to be the same,” while the procedure is explained: “you get to choose your taxi driver based on your specific needs, rather than have someone randomly assigned to you. Instead of flagging down a stranger, you get a trusted taxi driver, rated by other Taxibeat users.”

The website continues that one can use Taxibeat at any place, at any time and at no extra cost. “Tap for the map, pick a cab, hop in, get where you’re going,” as it is described in simple words.

Drandakis said that they launched the service during the crisis in Greece. They were just a team of three with €40,000. “And I was out on the streets trying to attract drivers by distributing leaflets, out in the heat,” he explained.

Taxi drivers have no problem concerning the fact that they are being rated, because when the service started, in the midst of the Greek crisis, “the taxi drivers had lost about 50 or 60 percent of their jobs.”

Drandakis noted about the fact that he started a service during the crisis, that the crisis was one of the driving forces for start-ups and people with new ideas: “You’re with your back to the wall, and you have no choice. So this happens with many people who have lost their jobs here. They try new things and stop being dependent on state money. Most of them will fail, but many will succeed.”

Taxibeat allows its creators to take their business overseas while staying in Greece, as their first country after Greece was Brazil, where they managed it with the help of two Greek entrepreneurs who lived there.

Their main investors are people from the Greek shipping business. “The shipping sector is the only one in Greece that is famous for being successful internationally, starting from Onassis. It’s no accident,” Drandakis said.

Drandakis pointed out that in Greece they are profitable and he believes that they will be profitable also in Brazil this summer. “Each of our markets will be profitable after the first year or so,” he told Bloomberg.