5,700 Taxis in Your Back Pocket
Transforming business with a digital service that directly meets the needs of the business and its customers
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Get to Know Cabonline
Cabonline is the largest taxi network in the Nordics with cars all over Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark. They have 3,000 transporters with together more than 5,700 cars and 8,900 drivers connected to them.
A Company Ahead of Their Time
Considering their huge presence in the Nordic market, it’s perhaps hard to comprehend that in 2011, Cabonline [formerly Fågelviksgruppen] had no online presence. Like most other taxi companies at the turn of the decade, taxi orders were made over the phone to a dispatcher, and the company was revolving around legacy technology systems; a monolith of integrations and connections that were robust but made making changes, upgrades or new ideas difficult to implement. They were being hampered by their own technology stack; it was hindering innovation, scalability and the ability to become a truly data-driven organisation.
The taxi market had been deregulated with fierce competition and margins being pushed back as a result. There were a couple of major market competitors alongside multiple small independent brands. In a time pre-Uber, the ambition was to transform the business with a digital service that would directly meet the needs of the business and its customers. A complex undertaking to convert a transaction-heavy process built on old “legacy/mainframe” solutions to a digital “self-service” experience with a new business model, and fixed price approach built on data insights, in a micro-transaction environment was initiated by Cabonline. They turned to Valtech for the solution.
A Microservices Approach
The challenge for Valtech was to build a prototype for booking a taxi online with fixed prices good enough to test on the market to get enough insights to take the next step. Starting with the design and build of a new real time web service, the decision was made to build in relative isolation from the current tech environment.
APIs were the foundation of the architecture; by taking a microservices/API-first approach, we were able to access the data and logic in the existing technical setup whilst still testing and learning with new approaches. This gave Cabonline the opportunity to explore new customer-centric services and business models in a relatively risk-free environment. Using APIs enabled rapid scalability and allowed us to build new services outside the old legacy system. This approach was not just cheaper, but also meant we could take an iterative, innovative approach that future-proofed the system allowing small developments rather than a complete “rip and replace.”
Transforming the User Experience
With a scalable and flexible back-end in place, the team started building the front-end customer experience layer, wanting to evolve beyond the MVP web service and build a scalable front-end ecosystem for web and apps that directly addressed the needs of the taxi drivers and customers throughout Sweden.
The B2C app gives users access to new features including fixed prices, reservation status, trip time calculations, view their favourite destinations, determine their location, and choose the type of car they want.
With limitless combinations, Cabonline overhauled the customer experience, transforming an inflexible, phone-based booking process into a seamless, flexible and intuitive digital B2C commerce experience.
A B2C and B2B Ecosystem
Cabonline’s business transformation meant the development and execution of a new business model, taking them from variable pricing to fixed pricing across the group. With both B2C and B2B offerings, we needed to incorporate functionality to allow for multiple payment models.
What we have built for Cabonline over the years is a booking ecosystem that provides the ability to add new brands whilst supporting both B2C and B2B requirements.
The agile, MACH (Microservices, API-First, Cloud Native and Headless) approach was critical to helping us transform an immature technical environment into a fully data-driven tech company with B2C and B2B functionality.
In 2015, family owned Cabonline was sold to HiG Capital, a US venture capital firm. In acquiring Cabonline, they’ve secured a super-smart platform with unlimited potential to scale and the data driven technology they need to deliver an amazing experience for their customers across multiple markets.