Airport taxi and limousine rides – which have largely remained
outside global reservation systems – are being steered onto a new
platform that will benefit travel agencies, airlines and their
Tokyo-based SmartRyde has taken the wraps off a new product, Demand
Partner API, which will allow OTAs and airlines connected to this API
(Application Programming Interface) to access airport transfer networks
worldwide and offer customers transfer services alongside hotel
reservations and flight bookings.
“This is expected to increase their profits,” says Sota Kimura, CEO
and founder of SmartRyde, which has raised approximately JPY 450 million
(US$3.36m) from venture capitalists (VCs), which it will use to expand
corporate functions and bolster business teams.
The SmartRyde marketplace will provide pre-booked airport transfer
services to more than 700 airports worldwide, services which the company
says, will be “reasonable, safe and reliable”.
SmartRyde says vehicle allocation systems and methods of inventory
management have “remained unchanged in the taxi and limousine industry
for a long time”, said Kimura.
“Most of mid/small taxi operators in Asia are still using pen and
paper or Excel. So they cannot manage when/how many vehicles are
available in real time.
“If this is solved, tourists will be able to book airport transfers, even at the last minute.”
Kimura said SmartRyde also aims to support domestic taxi operators by
providing them with new value, “including streamlining and cost