A European car booking portal is aiming to compete with ride-hailing rivals Uber and Careem, as it claims the Middle East has become one of its “quickest growing regions”, reports Arabian Business.
Talixo also said it has attracted local interest from potential investors.
Talixo was founded in 2012 in Berlin and is now active in over a dozen cities across the Middle East. It differentiates itself from household names such as Uber and Careem by claiming that, while the ride-hailing apps are for unplanned and ad hoc travel, Talixo is focused solely on pre-booked transport.
“Our founder and CEO Sebastian Kleinau was working as a management consultant at BCG and travelled extensively for their projects, where he realised that global business travel and airport transfers were hugely fragmented and prime for innovation and disruption,” Henry Joseph-Grant, chief commercial officer at Talixo, told Arabian Business.
The company currently has operations in Manama, Amman, Kuwait City, Beirut, Muscat, Doha, Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Madinah, Makkah, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. The majority of its customers currently come from online platforms and tour operators, but the company is looking to expand its regional network and customer base.
“We have customers in the Middle East travelling globally, using us across the world… The Middle East is fast becoming one of our quickest growing regions and increasingly more and more important strategically,” Joseph-Grant said.
The firm has so far raised €11 million ($12.27 million) investment, with some of its biggest investors including German railway company Deutsche Bahn, Swiss engineering firm Ammann Group, private equity firm TA Capital and two large Swiss family offices.
Joseph-Grant said Talixo has seen interest from regional investors who see halal travel as “a huge opportunity”, especially around Umrah and Hajj.
“We also have growing interest from some of the biggest Middle East based investors, I am very impressed how much the region's ecosystem for start-ups and investment has developed in the past few years,” he said.