During our EU-Startups Conference last Friday in Munich, we hosted a pitch competition with eight awesome startups out of Belgium, the UK, the Czech Republic, Finland and Germany. The startup that eventually won the contest is called Liftago!
Ondrej Kratky, Co-Founder and Marketing Chief of the young company, convinced the jury with Liftago’s business model and with his entertaining pitching style. The image below shows, three members of the liftago team (the 2nd, 3rd and 6th one from the left) together with the jury.
Liftago, which is currently headquartered in Prague, is an open marketplace for urban transportation. In contrast to most of its competitors, Liftago is building the marketplace on top of existing taxi infrastructure. This way, the young company aims to create the most value for passengers, drivers, dispatch companies as well as for travel operators and cities.
Instead of building a new costly infrastructure like Uber, Liftago utilizes the quality part of existing drivers who are already on the market (10% of all Prague drivers are registered at Liftago). The taxi drivers love Liftago for their concept and thereby they’re recommending the new marketplace to their clients. This way, the Prague-based company has almost zero direct acquisition cost of drivers.
Interesting fact: Liftago’s traction in Prague is very similar to Uber when it started in San Francisco (20-30,000 rides in first 6 months after launch)!
Juraj Atlas, the CEO of Liftago who is the guy on the very right of the image above, describes the goal of the startup as following: “Liftago optimizes taxi transportation now but we aim to build an open marketplace of multi-modal transportation with services that are now struggling for wider adoption: bike-sharing / car-sharing and other with one goal: to make public transportation so accessible so it will be more economical and convenient for people to leave their cars at home when they visit city centers.”
I’m convinced that Litago itself is facing a tough journey with all ups and downs any regular startup has to go through. But if the plan of Liftago’s ambitious team works out, the company could play an important role in the future of urban transportation and might become one of the major European startup success stories.