minicabit: standing out from the competition

The driving force
The driving force

minicabit founder Amer Hasan tells Colette Doyle how he got his company to stand out from the crowd…

Unlike its competitors, minicabit focuses on pre-booked, out-of-town rides and its stated aim is to break down the perception of the hassle and expense associated with such trips. Hasan’s rationale is that once you add up the price of a train fare and a taxi at the other end of your journey it can often work out up to 30 per cent cheaper to take a cab all the way if travelling in a group with friends, family or colleagues – it’s “the cost of convenience”, as he puts it. Currently, a third of bookings made on minicabit are for this kind of trip, which suits operators perfectly, as they can plan capacity easier when customers book in advance.

For consumers the app is simplicity itself: download it and it recognises where you are, supplying you with an instant quote; you can book just a one-way or a return trip and the journey can be arranged up to 12 months ahead. Since it is a price comparison site you get access to a wide range of quotes, with complex algorithms coming into play to ensure clients get the best deal and it also acts as a flash sales tool for local cab firms, offering for instance a special discount deal for eight passengers, with the original price crossed out in red the way you might find in the retail sector.

There are various custom options to choose from: you can upgrade to an executive car, or choose an operator based on a variety of factors such as how highly rated they are by other passengers, whether they offer wifi, or if they have achieved zero emissions – “it’s not just about the price,” points out Hasan. There’s a luggage selector too and not only for suitcases; Hasan has noticed an increase in customers using a cab to move house at the weekend, so they may want to swing by Argos or John Lewis to snap up a flatscreen TV or other essential home furnishing item. That’s where the ‘multiple stops’ function comes into its own; if you want to stop off somewhere, or pick up another passenger on the way, the app calculates the best route and the best fare so there’s no squabbling once you’re on board.

In the next instalment of this series, minicabit founder Amer Hasan tells Colette Doyle how he promoted his business without spending a fortune…