By Tope Templer Olaiya
Easy Taxi is the largest taxi-hailing app in the world. Present in 18 countries and increasing constantly, there are more than 90,000 drivers registered to the Easy Taxi network and over three million users worldwide.
Easy Taxi is Nigeria’s leading free smartphone application that provides the safest, fastest and most convenient way of hailing a taxi in Lagos by connecting a network of registered drivers directly to customers. Launched in July 2013, Easy Taxi has impressively managed to secure close to 30,000 user app downloads in just over five months in existence.
It has become a safe and convenient way for people to book a taxi anywhere within Lagos, as it pioneered mobile taxi application services in Nigeria and the company plans to expand to other cities in Nigeria in 2014.
Bankole Cardoso was the founding CEO of Easy Taxi Nigeria, a Rocket Internet backed start-up. Before moving on to do new things, the 26-year-old son of Nigeria’s Ebola hero, Dr. Ameyo Adadevoh, grew Easy Taxi to become one of the most used taxi hailing apps in Lagos as well as Abuja.
Bankole put a personal touch to the gospel of technology he preached. He would wake up early, put on flip flops and drive around Lagos talking to different taxi drivers and explaining the Easy Taxi application to them.
The application makes use of GPS, which displays the passenger’s location when the app is opened. To request a taxi, the passenger confirms his/her location and clicks “Request Taxi”. Upon requesting for a taxi, the GPS identifies the closest driver to the passenger’s location and assign to the passenger.
One of the features of the app is that it displays the picture, name, phone number and vehicle details of the driver assigned to the passenger. Another impressive feature of the app is that the passenger can follow the driver’s movement in real time visible on a map as the driver approaches him.
In addition, the app displays the estimated time to wait for the taxi assigned to the passenger. The app has been modified to include new features that enables passengers customize their taxi booking experience by selecting between an option of branded and unbranded taxis at their disposal.
Bankole was, in 2014, listed on Forbes as one of the 30 most promising African entrepreneurs under age 30 and has been featured on CNN Africa Start-up. He was born and raised in Lagos and has a B.Sc in Business Management (Accounting) from Boston College. After studying and working abroad for a few years, he returned to Nigeria to be an entrepreneur.