mytaxi becomes FREENOW and expands offer

April 25, 2019 - An exciting summer awaits mytaxi. In addition to a brand change to FREE NOW, Europe's largest taxi app is expanding its range of mobility services. With the rebrand E-Scooter and a new rental car concept will be added.

Hardly any other sector in Germany is currently developing as rapidly as the mobility sector. New mobility services are pushing their way into the market, new legislation is driving further developments throughout the industry. As a result, urban mobility, in particular, is becoming increasingly diverse: e-scooters are enjoying ever greater popularity throughout Europe and, according to the Federal Ministry of Transportation, are due to be registered in Germany very soon.

"In order to take this development into account, we want to position ourselves much more broadly as FREE NOW in the future," explains mytaxi Germany CEO Alexander Mönch. "I am firmly convinced that electric scooters will very quickly become an important part of urban mobility once they have been approved throughout Germany. With our hive scooter brand, we are already active in five European capitals and are just waiting for e-scooters to be approved on German roads. We will integrate this offer into FREE NOW.

Our five new brands for mobility

REACH NOW offers more than 6.7 million users simple, direct access to a range of mobility services through a single multimodal platform. The REACH NOW apps will offer a range of options for getting from A to B, allowing users to book and pay directly for public transport and various other mobility options, such as car-sharing, ride-hailing and bike rentals. REACH NOW will be managed by Daniela Gerd tom Markotten as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), with Johannes Prantl as Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

SHARE NOW is a free-floating car-sharing service that allows customers to rent and pay for vehicles by smartphone — anytime, anywhere. Its fleet will now be extended to incorporate a wider range of models and increase market coverage. More than 4 million customers in total currently use the fleet’s 20,000 vehicles in 31 cities around the world. Car-sharing increases vehicle utilization rates, helping to cut the overall number of cars on the roads in urban areas. Olivier Reppert has been appointed CEO of SHARE NOW, with Stefan Glebke as CFO.

FREE NOW offers a variety of mobility services including taxis, private chauffeurs with rental vehicles, and state-of-the-art e-scooters, all at the tap of a finger. One of the largest ride-hailing services in Europe and Latin America, FREE NOW already serves more than 21 million customers and over 250,000 drivers, who make a valuable contribution to the reduction of traffic in city centres. FREE NOW is headed by Marc Berg as CEO, with Sebastian Hofelich as CFO.

CHARGE NOW is a service by Digital Charging Solutions GmbH (DCS), and its comprehensive charging network is a key contributor to zero-emissions driving. CHARGE NOW makes public charge points quick and easy to locate, use and pay for, both at home and abroad. Digital Charging Solutions GmbH develops simple, standardised access to public charge points for car manufacturers and fleet operators. With over 100,000 charge points across 25 countries, its white-label solutions are helping OEMs and fleet operators to realise their strategies for electric mobility. Customers benefit from cross-border access to one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing charging networks, with over 250 charge point operators (CPOs) to date.

PARK NOW makes parking easier, on-street or off. The innovative digital parking service offers users the best possible parking solutions at a glance, allows them to reserve parking slots and manage their parking times, and enables ticketless entry and exit in public garages as well as cashless payment of parking fees. In addition, with the search for parking currently accounting for about 30 percent of the traffic on urban roads, PARK NOW is helping towns and cities to reduce traffic volumes, thereby helping to make city centres cleaner, healthier and more liveable. In Europe and North America over 30 million customers are already using the service in more than 1,100 cities. CHARGE NOW and PARK NOW are headed by Jörg Reimann as CEO, with Thomas Menzel as CFO.

PHV as a supplement to the existing taxi business

Together with cooperating taxi entrepreneurs, FREE NOW will also launch its own fleet of Private Hire Vehicles (PHV). The aim is to further expand its strong market position, develop additional customer groups and offer customers an attractive mobility alternative with high quality, transparency and at a fair price.

With the new offer, not only passengers but above all drivers will be taken into the next evolutionary stage of urban mobility. Alexander Mönch, General Manager at mytaxi for Germany and Austria: "Our drivers are the most important partners and the taxi remains an important part of our DNA. However, we have to expand our offering in the fast-moving and complex mobility industry and remain competitive. We want to open up new customer and target groups for all services. With FREE NOW, the cake will become much bigger, so that everyone will benefit from it in the end".

Taxi and Rental Industry: Fair Competition and Equal Rules

The entry into the PHV business is an important, strategic step for mytaxi: "As a company with European roots, we do not want to leave the market to competitors from other continents. We continue to plead for the merging of taxis and rental cars in a reformed joint business with the same rules and fair competitive conditions," adds Mönch.

According to Mönch, there is also great demand: "Various entrepreneurs with whom we work have already approached us and are asking for alternative ways of repositioning themselves. Many of them have both car rental and taxi licences and want to cooperate with us in both areas".

Furthermore, the classic taxi industry remains an important partner: "It will remain a very important issue for us to continue modernizing the taxi industry in order to keep it competitive in the future. The flexible pricing model alled match that we launched together with the City of Hamburg two weeks ago was a milestone in this context and an important step for the future of the taxi industry".

The new brands for urban mobility.

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