Uber Rival Taxify Launches In Sydney With 50% Off Rides For First Month

Heads up, anyone swiftly going broke in the holiday season: a rival to Uber has launched in Sydney today, and it’s offering 50 percent off rides for the first month.

Taxify, founded by a 19-year-old Estonian teenager in 2013, is the fastest-growing ride-hailing platform in the world, operating in 20 countries so far.

It’s launching with some 4,000 drivers in Sydney as of today (at 10am, to be specific), with plans to expand to Melbourne before Christmas.

It also plans to be cheaper than Uber by at least 5 percent (once its first month deal is over), and give a better deal to drivers, charging just 15 percent commission instead of the 20–30 percent charged by competitors.

“We have based our business model on fairness and transparency, and it is because of this that we have had so many drivers sign up to Taxify in such a short space of time,” said founder and CEO Markus Villig in a press release, adding in a separate interview that they were able to achieve this because their business model is “leaner” than competitors.

“Sydney is a huge and vibrant city, and we are excited to launch in the Australian market. We are confident that locals are looking for an alternative ride hailing option, and Taxify is committed to providing both riders and drivers with what they want,” he said.

New South Wales is welcoming the app with open arms, with the Minister for Trade and Industry, Niall Blair, saying he was “delighted” that Taxify had chosen NSW for its launch.

However, the app ran into trouble when it debuted in London earlier this year, when it was forced to suspend its service just three days later after it failed to obtain the proper private hire licence required to operate in the city. It has yet to re-open, but given London banned earlier this year Uber (the ride-sharing company is appealing), it’s unlikely anything will happen anytime soon.

The Taxify app is available now on iPhone and Android, if you’re keen to give it a whirl.