Smart transport from door to door

Taxis are usually the quickest and most convenient way to get from A to B on the shortest route possible. But that's not always so, or taxis may not be available where you happen to be. Supposed short distances often end up costing a lot of money and can be stressful. Talixo makes traveling short distances faster and easier. Established in Berlin in 2012, the company connects passengers and vehicles in a new way using a smart booking platform. The solution pools all of the taxi and car services that are available to customers for the particular journey and offers excellent potential for economic growth. DB has an interest in Talixo through Deutsche Bahn Digital Ventures.

Interview with Manuel Gerres and Boris Kühn, Managing Directors at DB Digital Ventures

What does Talixo offer?

Manuel Gerres: The Berlin startup runs a digital booking platform for taxi and car services. The service appeals primarily to people who travel on business, for three reasons. First, Talixo makes booking a taxi or car service around the world as easy as it is to book a hotel or flight. Second, I can access the service around the world, whether I'm getting off a plane in London, Melbourne or Mumbai. The platform already offers last-mile mobility in more than 1,000 cities in 130 countries. I can be confident in the vehicle and driver, especially in cities I don't know well, since Talixo ensures the same high quality and safety standards everywhere. And third, a single system is used for booking and billing. Customers can pay for journeys directly through the platform.

What makes Talixo different from services like Uber and MyTaxi?

Boris Kühn: The founders of Talixo have a clear objective: pooling everything yet still making the platform as easy to use as possible. The success they have had in the last five years since the company was founded makes them unique in the market. Talixo can display all bundled services, including the prices and advantages of each. The system knows the provider's available capacity in advance and connects this with the request in real time. The ability to conveniently pre-book services online and fare agreements with local fleet partners mean there are cost benefits for customers with a high volume of bookings. Taxi and car services benefit from higher utilization of their capacity and better optimization of routes. Talixo makes it possible for business customers to book transfers in under two minutes and choose from a wide range of vehicles, from taxis to first-class luxury cars. The startup works exclusively with operators that employ licensed drivers. In short, it's a product that we at DB believe in.

DB already has the expertise needed to develop platforms. Why does this service need to be bought from affiliated companies?

Kühn: Not only do we have the expertise; we're really good at developing mobile platforms. DB Navigator is a real success story. And we're setting standards in the mobility sector with our other apps and the systems behind them. But we can't develop and run all platforms ourselves, and we don't need to. This method gives affiliates the opportunity to participate in new developments quickly, from the user and entrepreneurial perspective. Digital progress depends to a large extent on partnerships and investment. DB can accomplish things quickly with the right partners. We gain access to innovative technology we can use to improve our ability to compete and thrive.