A Q&A with Click A Taxi co-founder Nikolaj Koster. The Copenhagen-based company was founded in 2010 and closed a $1.5 million second Angel funding round in mid-November.
SUB: Please describe Click A Taxi and your value proposition.
Koster: 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.
SUB: Who are your target markets and users?
Koster: The app is really an indispensable tool for people who travel regularly, especially business travelers. But it’s definitely useful to everyone who takes taxis, even if only occasionally.
SUB: Who do you consider to be your competition?
Koster: There are a lot of taxi apps on the market, but our approach is actually quite unique. It works anywhere you are with a handpicked company for all cities.
SUB: What differentiates Click A Taxi from the competition?
Koster: Global coverage and solid partnerships with quality taxi companies. Other taxi aggregation services don’t have the same global reach as Click A Taxi. They focus on big cities, we focus on countries and continents. And since we aggregate and pick the best operators on the ground you are sure to choose a taxi company that has been in the business for many years and know their local cities and markets.
SUB: When was the company founded and what were the first steps you took in establishing it?
Koster: The company was officially founded in October 2010, but the first six months really consisted of honing the idea and writing business plans. The next order of business was to find some people to share the dream and that’s when we began putting the team of co-founders in place. Only then could we begin to build the app and put the logistics in place.
SUB: What was the inspiration behind the idea for Click A Taxi? Was there an ‘aha’ moment, or was the idea more gradual in developing?
Koster: Søren [co-founder Søren Halskov Nissen] worked for some time as an operations and logistics manager, and he was required to travel and live in a range to international destinations. Like most people who travel, he found that the process of getting a cab in a foreign location can be stressful and frustrating. He 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 traveler could live without. So he decided to build an international taxi service that travelers could rely on to be reliable, safe and reasonably priced.
SUB: How did you come up with the name? What is the story behind it?
Koster: When we were developing the name we really wanted something that would resonate with people on a practical level. We decided on Click A Taxi because that’s exactly what the consumer app does. The verb ‘Click’ has the additional benefit of being an action that’s transferable to other digital formats—you also ‘click’ on a computer or laptop, which means that we are able to expand the app beyond its original format without creating disparity. We also played around with calling the service something a bit more abstract like ‘Rickshaw’. But in the end we kept coming back to Click A Taxi because we could always be sure that people would understand the core functionality.
SUB: What have the most significant obstacles been so far to building the company?
Koster: One ongoing battle is getting the right team in place. We’re always on the lookout for talented people, but as a scaling business you need to learn to anticipate your staffing needs ahead of time and figure out how to attract the best fit for the company. We’ve learned to only hire people who are passionate about the idea and willing to smash it every day.
SUB: You just raised $1.5 million in new Angel funding. What are your plans for the funds?
Koster: Our strategy for the past year has been, and will remain for the moment, to focus on our expansion for the network to cover the world.
SUB: Why was this a particularly good time to raise more funding?
Koster: This extra funding will allow us to expand our services at a rapid pace, ensuring that we stay well ahead of the crowd when it comes to coverage.
SUB: How does the company generate revenue or plan to generate revenue?
Koster: Our business model is based on a co-operation with our taxi partners. Click A Taxi users are not charged anything extra for booking through the app.
SUB: What are your goals for Click A Taxi over the next year or so?
Koster: We want to make sure that we can offer our users unparalleled international coverage. The global rollout is steaming along and we expect to add several more new countries before the end of the year and a bunch in the new year—a range of Asian cities, some African cities, South American countries, and the USA of course. On the development side, we have been working hard to finesse the App for v3.0, which we hope to make public quite soon.
Click A Taxi – www.clickataxi.com