Nat Rothschild To Launch London Ride Sharing App ‘Maaxi’ To Compete With ‘Uber’
Nathaniel Rothschild, the British-born financier and member of the prominent Rothschild family, will release a new ride share application called Maaxi in London to compete with the popular hiring service for taxis and private cars, Uber.
Rothschild, together with Argentinian Gabriel Campos, the former CEO of the gaming website PokerStars, plans on releasing his new rideshare application in the coming weeks. Campos told Bloomberg that the application hopes to make hiring a private car, or black cab, in London cheaper than using public transportation by sharing the ride with a number of passengers headed for the same destination.
The disruptive power of ride sharing applications
The announcement comes at a time when investors are pouring money into applications that allow users to order taxi cabs, private cars and ride shares from their smartphone and straight to their door. Uber, which is available for use in over 150 cities and 45 countries, raised more than $1.2 billion from private investor groups in June at a company valuation of over $17 billion. Other ride sharing and ordering applications like Lyft recently raised $250 million from investors that included China’s Alibaba Group; and Israel’s GetTaxi expanded to New York and began offering $10 rides throughout the city in order to compete with Uber.
Rothschild, who will be the majority shareholder in Maaxi, is using video and social media outlets like Twitter to market Maaxi to the public, broadcasting messages from London cab drivers who claim that Uber threatens their jobs. The application, which has been under development for over two years, has already gained the approval of over 1,000 black cab drivers in London who are looking forward to the official release of the application. This may be because, according to Campos, Maaxi drivers will be better compensated for ride sharing than their rivals like Uber.
Maaxi users are also likely to enjoy the financial and convenience perks of the new app, which ‘journey-matches’ users according to their origin and destination so that the efficiency of a private cab ride isn’t compromised.
Campos reports that Maaxi is still looking for additional funds to develop and expand its services, but with Rothschild on board, that may be less of an issue. “The opportunity was fantastic for him [Rothschild] in terms of being able to do something that has real social impact, that makes transportation very affordable,” Campos said to Bloomberg. “The social impact is the piece that moved Nat the most.”