European ground transportation booking scale-up Talixo has been flying under the radar since it was founded by CEO Sebastian Kleinau six years ago, but the Berlin and Krakow-based company has been quietly building a solid global business - and it is ready to take it up notch.
Talixo, not to be confused with the ride-hailing likes of Uber, Cabify, Bolt and Careem, offers a turn-key platform for companies to pre-order ground transportation in more than 1,000 cities across 100 countries.
The company has remained focused on B2B pre-bookings for ground transfers with licensed taxis, mini-cabs, limousines and minibuses, which may be a tad less sexy than Uber or Lyft, but this focus has allowed it to quietly make inroads with the world's largest corporations, as well as with partner airlines, travel agencies and online travel platforms around the globe.
Talixo’s Chief Commercial Officer, Henry Joseph-Grant, told tech.eu: "The global B2B transfer market is a €120 billion space and severely fragmented. On the supply side, 80% of fleets have under 10 cars and low utilisation rates of around 20%; Talixo’s proprietary technology optimises fleet efficiency and connects them to demand from our global partners."
Joseph-Grant continued: "By improving utilisation for fleets, they get economies of scale, to be able to provide Talixo with exclusive, low rates and still pay their drivers well. In the end, this means that our partners have competitive pricing which often beats ride-hailing - and nobody is exploited or loses."
Fighting words, but the fact remains that its services aren't that dissimilar from other European companies such as Blacklane (also based in Berlin) and Wheely, although admittedly the latter two seem to focus more exclusively on high-end customers, whilst Talixo offers a broad range to cater to both pre-booked leisure and business travel customers.
Henry Joseph-Grant commented on the competitive landscape: "I don’t see Blacklane as a competitor; they’ve built a good premium consumer brand, but luxury is a small part of the market. In other words, they restrict their growth potential and rely heavily on paid channels, which isn’t defensible."
"We aren’t trying to build a consumer brand and we’re much smarter with our distribution. We want to be the glue for the industry, essentially doing what Amadeus have done with flights for B2B and B2B2C ground transportation," Joseph-Grant added.
Despite flying under the radar for the most part, the company did raise interest from investors as it quietly grew over the past few years. In fact, Talixo has secured roughly €11 million from Deutsche Bahn, TA Capital, Amman Group and Swiss family offices so far, and tech.eu understands that the company will soon raise more capital to supports its international growth as its eyes more business in the Middle East and other regions.
With more than 100 employees, mostly based in Europe, Talixo has already reached an annual turnover in the two-digit millions by sealing deals with the likes of Booking.com, TripAdvisor, Skyscanner, Expedia, Ctrip and others.
With additional funding, it will be interesting to see how far Talixo can go from its humble European beginnings.