Nekso Inc., a Toronto-based company that doubles as one of Latin America’s largest taxi-hailing platforms, is raising $25 million USD to fuel its North American expansion which is slated to begin in early 2018.
Last week, the company announced that it will be expanding into Canada and the United States, giving passengers the ability to either e-hail or street-hail a licensed taxi without having to reach for their wallets.
In contrast to many traditional ride-hailing platforms, Nekso focuses heavily on driver productivity, service, and simplicity. On average only 35% of a taxi driver’s time is spent driving around paying customers — the rest of their time is spent waiting for their next ride.
To solve this issue, Nekso created Taxi Beacon, a program that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to monitor both real-time and historic data and direct drivers to high-demand areas. In Latin America, Nekso drivers have seen an increase of nearly double of the number of completed rides they were doing before they joining the platform.
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To date, the company has raised $6.5 million USD in financing, and is currently looking to raise an additional $25 million USD. Extreme Venture Partners (EVP), one of Toronto’s top VC firms, has allocated $5 million USD to a syndicate round as part of the $25 million fundraising effort.
EVP currently has over 40 active investments and the firm’s portfolio companies have created thousands of jobs and returned several hundred million dollars in shareholder value since 2007.
Nekso piloted operations in Latin America in 2016, launching with the support of the taxi industry in the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Panama and Venezuela. The company has additional Latin American launches planned in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and Peru. Since launch, the company has partnered with over 550 taxi companies and 9,000 drivers, and receives over 400,000 rides request per month.