10:07 | 03.07.15 | Interviews | exclusive 11051

ggTaxi wants to manufacture electric cars in Armenia

Recently, Armenian ggTaxi received USD 200 thousand funding, part of which was allocated by Granatus Ventures.

Itel.am talked to ggTaxi Co-Founder Khachatur Grigoryan regarding the received funding and future plans.

-We would first of all like to congratulate you on the funding. For what purposes will it be used?

-We will use the money to improve the quality of programming and service as well as to enter new markets.

It should be noted that this is a seed investment and not venture. However, as a capital, it’s quite a large amount for both the market and our consciousness.

We have been in constant touch with various investors as we believe one should establish contact with the investors in an earlier period and when he is mature enough the latter will also stand ready to invest. We should take into account that the investors do not trust you and only your progress will gain them trust towards you.

It should be said that prior to the investment we had already ensured a small inflow of income – opening the app our users spend money.

Our future investors should not make us present ourselves under, for example, Made in San Francisco brand. We should keep our Made in Armenia brand. This will be a significant impetus for the rest of startups in the market. It is linked to the idea of national rebirth and will become a reality only when the Armenian brand moves forward.

-In terms of pace, how does ggTaxi develop?

-We have stable 10-20% growth of orders on monthly basis. In late 2014, the number of orders was 100, in early 2015 – 150, and today their number is over 300.

In reality this is not a big number but it’s a stable process and the numbers will increase in the future. We are planning to have 3-4-fold growth by the end of this year. Our goal is to have daily 1000 orders and we should achieve it as soon as possible.

As a rule, the quantitative growth of users and drivers should be equal. In our case, we presently lack drivers. We understand that having good drivers requires time and we continue to actively involve new drivers.

-How do you engage new drivers?

-At first we “went out of our way” to engage drivers but it was a process requiring resources and was not that effective. As of today, we are so popular that drivers themselves turn to us.

We have around 170 active drivers, but it obviously does not mean they are all in the street and ready to serve. We are planning to have 1000 drivers in a year.

I believe a community is already being established and once it’s established, the product can fulfill itself.

-ggTaxi is often said to be the Armenian version of Uber. Is it so?

 -In such cases I say the following – had we created a car, would they say it’s already created, it’s not innovative and consequently, is not interesting?

I believe in case of business it’s normal to see a working idea and try to create something like that. In reality, we have not attempted to copy anyone. What’s being created does not need to become exactly the same as the earlier developed product. We have an issue and we have decided that we can employ that method here to address it. It might morph into a totally different thing in the future.

-Could you specify into what?

-Armenia has potential for manufacturing electric cars. There is potential in the form of engineers. They just need several experts who were involved in the production of such cars and can give them advice.

If we manage to disseminate our product in all CIS countries, we will have an approximate idea of the market. Thus, if we succeed in the production of electric cars, then an enclosed product will be developed, which we will be able to consume in the CIS market.

Drivers working in the system might be among the potential buyers of electric cars.

These new cars might be more expensive than the common cars used as a taxi, but the service will be cheaper.

Many people might find this idea fantastical, but it’s the response all ideas get at first.

-There are already several players in the market offering taxi via an app. Does competition scare you?

-One of the niceties of this business is that the driver should be perceived as a customer and not as an employee. The competition between such companies will be for high-quality drivers. But competition does not scare us.

We have potential and we can turn into a several billion dollar company within a short period of time – we should act correctly now and reach that bar.

Narine Daneghyan talked to Khachatur Grigoryan