Taxeeta, the startup that wants to use carpooling to end Pune’s traffic woes
As cities expand in breadth, the time taken to travel and the distances to travel – both have been on an upswing. While the bigger problems of setting up efficient infrastructure and proper public transport continue to linger on, entrepreneurs have pounced at this opportunity to make a difference. We have covered the stories of many cab services on YourStory. And we also had a very interesting article against and for carpooling in India. The jury is still out there about the success or failure of the idea, but in the meantime, we have a new player who is betting big on carpooling.
Taxeeta from Pune has started off with the simple aim of reducing traffic on roads. Founder, Siddharth Jagtiani says he aims to reduce traffic by 75% because: “At least three or more seats in a car are mostly empty.” Coming to Taxeeta’s USP, Siddharth says the difference they will bring to the space is the ability to cut short the process of booking the cab, by directly connecting the passenger to the taxi driver.
Pune citizens have to travel a good deal, because of the distances between their home and office. Despite the need, there are not many active carpooling services in Pune and this is the need that Taxeeta hopes to address. Taxeeta has a mobile app on the Android store, which customers and cab drivers can install, and based their current location a cab driver closeby can be contacted. Once the customer places a request, the nearest cabbie in the area is alerted and he can then move to pick up the customer. “Today when we book a cab, we rely on voice calls to identify availability and location of their fleet, this translates to delays and mis-communication. On the other hand, we have expensive equipment like GPS devices to enable the process. I think the market is ready for a zero-cost and non-voice based, availability and location system. That is what we are. With absolutely no investment, cabs can tie up with us. We use a completely automated system to connect the customer to the cab driver,” explains Siddharth.
Taxeeta doesn’t have a car fleet and works with different cab drivers, even those who are operating radio or fleet taxis. “They accept Taxeeta’s request when they are free. We have a large pool of drivers, we are never short of options,” claims Siddharth. The venture launched in February this year and recently came out of its beta phase. Taxeeta will be charging the customer and the driver for the service they provide; however, at this point, the exact mechanics of the margin to be charged are still being worked out, says Siddharth.He is currently in the process of building his team, and is looking for people with marketing and business development experience. Siddharth is the tech brain behind the venture and is the in-house developer. While there are various challenges Taxeeta faces, most of his energies at this point are focused on talking to the customer and making the offering better and as per their needs. He says his competition at this point is all radio and fleet taxis, which rely on the rule of the average, 1000 cabs to serve 100 customers. “We look at it differently. If we have 100 cabs we can serve 400 customers, since we are sure about their availability and location. This way, we also satisfy our cab drivers with adequate and relevant business,” says Siddharth.