Greenr Cabs: taking over Malta, no CO2 involved

Julia Alexeenko
Jul 15, 2018

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The size of Malta is about 27 by 14.5 km. For a taxi company, it’s a rather small working area. In 2015, a group of young and furious transport professionals decided to disrupt the taxi market on the island with something completely unique: eco-friendly cabs with excellent drivers.

How did Greenr Cabs manage to launch a successful taxi startup customers from the whole world are over-enthusiastic about? Fabien Courtellemont, managing director and founder, tells everything about starting a taxi business and helping it grow well.

Start an innovative taxi business

Greenr Cabs is the first transportation company in Malta to abandon the technology that has powered the industry for more than a century. On their website, there’s a quote of Prince Charles: “We do not have the right to steal our children’s future”. This was the exact reason for the founders to start a “fully ecological” taxi, with original electric vehicles only.
startup taxi

An example of Greenr cabs analytics

Fabien says: It is an innovative, rewarding concept. Malta is an ideal place to use electric cars because of its size. Most of our trips do not exceed 10 km. The island has a strong network of charging points all across. The airport (almost the only way to enter and exit the country) is extremely important for tourism and business, so we can profit from being the only company providing eco-friendly airport transfer.

Such an innovative business and an on-demand platform to power it seemed a match made in heaven. Greenr Cabs founders only had to decide on the exact brand of vehicles to work with, and find a platform as sustainable as their view on transportation.

The whole concept of XXI century transportation is about combining several features:

  • impeccable comfort of the passenger (both while booking and during the trip);
  • respect for the environment;
  • competitive pricing.

Greenr Cabs works with a fleet consisting of Nissan Leaf cars, the electric vehicles ideal for taxi business because of combining high-level comfort and the astonishing quietness of the journeys. Another important plus of the Leaf car is its cost-effectiveness. Basically, fuel and running costs have always been the biggest factors for taxi owners and drivers, and electric vehicles allow to cut the long-term costs about 8 times

Constantly look for growth possibilities

Greenr Cabs had several major requirements while looking for a taxi platform. First of all, the company didn’t want it to cost a fortune, so they were not interested in developing own applications. They needed a not too pricey, good-looking app that would provide customers with a possibility to book and pre-order a cab with ease.

Another important feature was a handy, functional dispatch system.

“Greenr Cabs works a lot with tourists and business travellers, and consequently deals mainly with pre-orders. A clear dispatch system providing enough information to understand the situation of the operations was one of the crucial features while looking for a provider.” — explains Fabien.

And, of course, Greenr Cabs needed reliable and clear reporting tools for the company. After some market research, Greenr Cabs has chosen TaxiStartup system to empower their taxi business.

The opportunity to grow in your own tempo is nice. As soon as we were able to, we’ve invested in branded apps that represent our business at full blast. Both passenger and driver apps are simple and clear anyway and are accessible in many languages. For Malta is a great melting pot of European cultures, it’s a good thing.
startup taxi

An example of Greenr cabs analytics

Solve the three biggest “taxi problems”

The main three taxi problems, according to Fabien, are:

  • Initial financing;
  • Finding good drivers;
  • Making a name on the market.

While financing is a unique question for every taxi startup in the world, two other complications are rather universal.

Making a name for an emerging taxi business was something Greenr Cabs managed to do perfectly after all. Main thing here is having a unique product with a strong value — environmental friendliness. While hundreds of taxi companies look absolutely the same, Greenr stands out boldly with their concern for the nature and promotion of sustainable practices.

People prefer electric cars to ordinary cabs. Once you’ve tried, you never go back to a regular cab. It’s so quiet and smooth, you can relax or work more easily, and additionally, you know you emit no pollution.

Another important part of making a recognizable name was providing a wider range of services than just traditional taxi. Greenr Cabs started offering airport transfers pretty soon: because it’s possible to pre-order online within just a few seconds, this service gained a lot of popularity. Fast WiFi on board, a possibility to plug in passenger’s own music in the cab — these are the additional services that seem tiny, but are adding up to creating a strong brand name of Greenr Cabs.

Make sustainable, thought-out plans

Here’s what people say on Facebook about Greenr: “Finally safe cabs in Malta! After crazy Maltese taxi-drivers it was such a pleasure to get a ride by professional. First surprise was that driver found my place without calling me 5 times never happened before. And first time arrived at the airport without stress and fear for my life. I’m not using other cabs anymore.”

The Greenr Cabs system is evolving in a good way. There’s a lot of room for further growth. What fuels the company? Fabien says Greenr is getting inspired by innovation, refining the quality of services and building a great team.

A good team cohesion is what allows us to move forward together. We’ve got values, we want innovative technology to serve better, greener world. It’s important that every driver and dispatcher in the company believes in it.

There are ambitious plans for the future. Right now, Greenr is busy to gather more business analytics to find out where to move next. They are analyzing who their clients are and how they travel. For a company with a relatively small fleet, it is extremely important to know several things.

  • Customer activity level per city and throughout the day. It helps distributing drivers more effectively.
  • The most popular destinations. It gives an insight on what services in what locations need more attention.
  • Localities from where people order the cabs. This, again, helps to distribute the small fleet effectively.
  • The number of corporate clients. It provides understanding if partnerships with some businesses are in demand.

startup taxi

An example of Greenr cabs analytics

And of course, there are more sustainable plans.

Our aim to reduce the local air pollution wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t plan to go a step further. Our commitment for the next 10 years is to increase the share of green electricity that we buy for our vehicles. As the wind and sun are the Maltese Islands’ greatest treasure, it is then our aim to migrate towards these sources of energy.

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