Amadeus & Cabify

Cabify talks to Amadeus about what makes their car rental service unique and how they envision a connected travel future.

The Amadeus Venture Fund invests in early stage companies with ideas in travel that are shaping the future. One of those companies is Cabify, which gives a twist to the traditional car rental service. They are creating a more connected travel future as the first mobile app in Europe that allows travellers to request private chauffeur services via your smartphone at affordable prices.

Another travel app that Amadeus has developed alongside the European Travel Commission to help travellers plan their trip is the VisitEurope travel app.
I’m Katherine Grass, head of Innovation and Ventures. At Amadeus established a venture fund to invest in early-stage companies. Early-stage companies with ideas in travel that are shaping the future. As we truly believe that future should be more personalized, connected and sustainable. I’m here today with one of those portfolio companies CEO of Cabify Juan de Antonio.

Could you start by telling us a little bit about Cabify, what it is, and how you came up with the idea?
I came up with this idea actually travelling. I’m not sure if you’ve been to Peru, but in this market nobody has a meter in the taxis. Every time you get to a taxi you have to negotiate the rates, so I don’t really enjoy that. That was a trigger that clicked in my brain is to do something about this.

Our company, what we do, is we offer private drivers to our customers for a price similar to a taxi. It’s basically like flying on business class for the price of an economy seat. We’ve built a marketplace where we put in contact, drivers and passengers and that allow them to get in touch with each other.

In which countries can you use Cabify today and where will we be able to use it tomorrow?

Today we have operations in Spain, Peru, Chile and Mexico. But we’ll be expanding pretty soon to other markets within the Latin American region also to other regions within the world. Our goal is to offer this service to everyone regardless of their location.

Who finds your service most compelling? Is it appealing to a certain type of person or certain events?

We have different types of customers. But, I would say that our man customer segment, it’s companies who want to have to have a safe and reliable mode of transportation for their employees, both in for requesting real time and with advance reservations. We’ve also seen that they use it for trips within their market, in their city.

This is clearly a very disruptive technology for this sector. How has it been perceived by the taxi drivers themselves?

Customers love our system and there are drivers who see a value in providing a better service, and we work with those divers. And of course we’ve also found some resistance from people who don’t want to change. Change is difficult but it brings progress so we found good partners.

The way that Cabify connects travellers and cars is great. Are you looking at other ways for more services, either bringing more services directly to those travellers and connecting other parts of the transportation network into Cabify?

For our customers, there is a value in having a door-to-door itinerary and we are working with industry players like Amadeus on finding ways to solve that problem.

There are other competitors out there to Cabify, Uber, in the US being the obvious one. Do you think these players can happily co-exist or do you see a consolidation happening down to one or two?

This is a very big industry when you look at the size of the revenues per city, you can guess there will be several players, there is room is room for several of us. There is also a very local players, and to some extent you can see local winners. In my opinion and there will be a consolidation and at the end there will remain three or four regional or global players because there is also a value for the user on having unique brand or service around the world.

What is a technology that you’re waiting for that will really transform your business in the future?

Flying cars? We’ve been waiting for those for a while. No, but seriously, we’ve seen things like battery power packs evolving, self-driving cars. All of these things are not that far away and for sure they will change our industry.
How do you see Cabify and Amadeus working together in the future?

I would say we can help Amadeus and your customers have a complete experience. Not only have a reservation for a trip, for a flight or for a hotel, we can help you complete the itinerary and give your customers a whole solution. We could start with that and once we process all of the information we have we can look at ways to offer customers a solution.