All the interviews, articles and blogs to do with Luca Di Michele, eCabs Chief Technology Officer, on the eCabs website will fall under this tag.


eCabs and Google enter strategic partnership

eCabs and Google enter strategic partnership

Photo caption: Francesco Fraccalvieri (TIM), Matthew Bezzina (eCabs Technologies), Nicolo Pisani (Google Italy), Ginevra Garelli (Google Italy) and Luca Di Michele (eCabs Technologies)

eCabs riders, drivers, and platform city partners set to benefit from world-leading route management, AI, and machine learning tech.

Precise ETAs, better route management, and new hyper-intelligent user tools and functions

eCabs has entered into a pioneering strategic partnership with global tech giant Google.

The partnership, signed at the Google offices in Milan earlier this month, will see eCabs integrate several of Google’s industry-leading tools into its ride-hailing tech stack, revolutionising its products and powering several new innovation projects.

The strategic collaboration will empower all eCabs ride-hailing products to harness the Google Maps Mobility Platform, the global tech giant’s hyper-intelligent fleet and route management engine.

This integration means ride-hailing tech platforms developed by eCabs will now boast best-in-class geo-location tools and smart route management systems, for optimised user, driver, and city partners experience.

In practice, this means eCabs will be better placed to navigate traffic globally, create optimised routes, and shorten waiting and riding times.

eCabs is only the second ever B2B private hire passenger mobility tech provider globally to integrate Google’s mapping tech stack for ride-hailing purposes.

Furthermore, eCabs has also agreed to migrate to the Google Cloud hosting service, providing the best security and reliability of service in the industry.

The successful migration to Google Cloud also radically improves scalability for all of its products, enabling enhanced testing and piloting.

The strategic partnership comes weeks after eCabs successfully began internationalising its mobility product.

Earlier this year new ride-hailing platforms powered by eCabs were successfully launched in Athens, Greece, and Bucharest, Romania, with several other jurisdictions in the pipeline.

eCabs Technologies CEO Matthew Bezzina said the strategic partnership with Google marks a pivotal moment for the company.

It means precision ETAs, optimised routes, and a suite of new user tools that will take eCabs to the next level of user experience.

“This is a very proud day for all of us at eCabs and we are thrilled to be bringing this innovation to our users, riders and drivers, as well as our city partners who have entrusted eCabs with powering their own ride-hailing ventures across Europe and beyond,” he said.

“Partnering with Google, the undisputed world leader in global mapping and route management technology, is an endorsement, not only of eCabs’ mission to be an important player in the international ride-hailing market but of the high standards of our dedicated and capable team. It signals that we are competing at the highest level in a complex and challenging global industry,” Bezzina said.

“eCabs was born to make transport efficient, accessible and affordable for all. We couldn’t be happier to be partnering with Google to provide tangible user benefits through best-of-breed technology,” he added.

An extremely powerful tool

eCabs Chief Technology Officer Luca Di Michele said the first phase of integrating Google’s mapping technology into the eCabs system is already underway.

“This is a quantum leap for us. It will allow eCabs to continue to expand and grow, providing better ride-hailing technology, not just for our home market in Malta, but for new jurisdictions where our city partners are launching their brands,” he said. 

Users of the eCabs platform should expect to start seeing changes to the App in 2024.

Key highlights of the Google Maps Mobility Platform Partnership:

  • World-leading technology: Through the alliance with Google, eCabs is set to unveil a suite of world-leading technologies that will drastically improve the ride-hailing experience. Leveraging Google’s cutting-edge solutions, eCabs aims to provide users with state-of-the-art features and improved level of service.
  • Better ETAs: The integration will give eCabs access to new smart routing algorithms for improved traffic management.  New prediction tools, as well as historic and real-time data, will allow for platform optimization, meaning more precision in pick-up and estimated arrival times.
  • Optimised driver dispatching: Google Maps’ rich data combined with eCabs’ operational expertise will ensure the right driver is dispatched to riders depending on multiple real-time factors, cutting down on and being more precise with waiting times while maximising partner fleets’ time and earnings.  
  • Fewer deficiencies: eCabs city partners will benefit from a tech stack on par with the world’s leading ride-hailing players, allowing them to launch the best user experience possible.
  • Strategic innovation: The partnership signifies a commitment to strategic innovation, with eCabs harnessing Google’s expertise to enhance operational efficiency, elevate user experience, and introduce industry-leading features that will be available for all city partners across all eCabs products. It will also power pilot projects across AI and machine learning.

In the press:

Times of Malta | Lovin Malta | The Malta Independent | Malta Today

eCabs internationalisation

eCabs primed for internationalisation by June 2023

eCabs, Malta’s very own and only flag bearing ride-hailing platform powered by its proprietary technology and innovation powerhouse Cuorium Technologies, expects to reach its first landmark milestone in its internationalisation efforts by June 2023.

With consistent investment in technology talent and an unwavering resolve to expand in major EU cities, eCabs is now yielding the goals that could elevate Malta’s corporate and technology credentials on an international scale.

Business Today sat down with Matthew Bezzina, Chief Executive Officer at Cuorium Technologies and Luca Di Michele, Chief Technology Officer, to grasp an insight into one of the most exciting commercial ventures growing in Malta, charting the path for the eCabs flag to be sported in European cities.

Recently, eCabs has undergone a significant restructuring of its operations. Luca was promoted to Chief Technology Officer at eCabs. Matthew moved on to become the CEO of Cuorium Technologies while Andrew Bezzina was named the CEO of eCabs.

How did this major transformation come about?

Luca Di Michele: In 2019 I spearheaded the establishment of our proprietary ride hailing technology. Three years have flown by like a flash. It is extremely satisfying to look back and see how much ground we have covered and the growth we have achieved, moving us far ahead enough to make this quantum leap into the international market. During this period, we have gone through exciting phases of renewal and transformation, building a highly competent, enthusiastic team of dedicated professionals who are driven by an incredible passion and the ambition for creating ahead-of-the-curve mobility technologies and solutions.

Matthew Bezzina: Our joint efforts have resulted into impressive growth, despite the international economic climate and the upheaval caused by the pandemic. Faced with these challenges we had some fundamental choices to make. We could have either retrenched and focused on keeping on winning the local market battles or aspire to become an international brand in mobility technology and provision of ride-hailing services. We could have decided to do like many others and just invest in property or take the plunge and the risk that comes with a significant shareholder investment of €7 million. Today, we are reaping the first dividends of these decisions, wherein despite all the headwind we faced we now have a platform created in Malta that is ready to go beyond our borders and proudly fly our national flag in this growing tech driven industry.

How does this restructuring effort feature in the growth path of the Company and its platform?

MB: Our organisation’s transformation journey started kicked off in 2017 and has been through multiple iterations. However it was towards the end of 2019 that we really changed gears and growth accelerated in a flywheel effect as soon as the pandemic hit the globe. The pandemic had the effect of a giant pause button on the industry which gave us the space to shape our platform, build a multicultural team, spin-off a technology company with one of the largest cadre of developers on the island and start charting the path towards our international aspirations. The bottom line was that of thinking out of the box, keep eyes on the ball and act with agility.

LDM: My development team has grown from an in-house cosy group of four people to a more than 50-strong talented team serving as the foundation, engine and R&D for our own technology platform. What each one of us at eCabs Technologies learns is that working here brings a massive advantage for technologists to test their skills against the world’s best, whilst learning, developing themselves, and growing into leadership positions as the company matures.

“A huge competitive advantage”

MB: An essential part of this success has also been the huge competitive advantage of having everything we need from an operational perspective within a 100-meter radius. Our headquarters practically resemble a giant laboratory with the ability to have on-field testing and instant feedback of results. We have also been blessed with the immeasurable benefit of direction from over a decade of operational knowledge and experience which facilitates development and improvements at speed, whilst competing with the world’s largest and most-funded players. Competing with the ilk of Bolt and now Uber has been a blessing with both companies backed by billions of Euros in funding, respectively. We’re playing in the champions’ league, which forces us to be the absolute best we can be and always aspire to be better and measure up against these technology giants.

What are the tangible results of your organisation’s development approach?

LDM: Our investments in Cuorium Technologies and eCabs have made us a considerable technology and software development business dedicated to mobility. We can stand out in the local market based on such a solid foundation.

MB: For the last two years we have been very busy reinventing our platform with our own IP and closing the gaps we needed to realise our ultimate vision. We brought the pre-pandemic consumer app experience up to the highest degree with multiple improvements in terms of usability, automation, system robustness and features, enabling our platform to be more competitive.

LDM: We also built the entire partner driver model from scratch and the extensive technology that is behind it. All these technologies are in a constant state of evolution and improvement. In this respect we have started our journey to take our technology to its next evolutionary chapter in machine learning, a project that allows our teams to leverage a multitude of our data points in the Google Cloud Learning Platform. This evolution gives us real-time, machine-enabled analysis and actions to scale quickly through big data driven decisions, as we integrate our proprietary technology with Google’s platform. The technology is in a constant state of evolution which will keep maturing and requiring best of breed talent who are eager to challenge themselves.

What are the challenges that you expect to face in the international markets?

MB: We are in a quickly evolving market of fierce competition fuelled by an ever-increasing demand for various mobility solutions as city-dwellers are more likely to leave their own cars behind, seeking alternatives to public transport for shorter and faster urban journeys.

LDM: When we made a tough decision to rebuild all our technology assets to establish our own intellectual property platform, we managed to create proprietary technology, supporting our great achievements in Malta as a unique multi-booking platform. Whilst the app market is set to grow from a current 40% to 46% by 2025 in the EU, the market is still dominated by traditional ride hailing booking means, and our platform uniquely offers the best of both worlds. We expect to leverage the capabilities and power of our one-of-a-kind platform and transpose it in other jurisdictions.

MB: We are also cognisant of the challenge that international markets hold for us, despite being firm believers in our platform, technology, and people. Global market penetration is always difficult for Maltese companies as our local market is small and isolated. Yet, we see our success in the local market, which is saturated by mobility solutions from international tech giants, as a testament to our international competitiveness on equal footing. We know that our IP is driving us to differentiate ourselves in international markets with positive feedback from foreign investors, whose due diligence has identified the eCabs platform as unique and at par with the best-in-class.

What can support you in being successful internationally?

LDM: As we are growing into one of the largest software firms in Malta exclusively dedicated to the development of our mobility innovations and technology solutions, we also keep onboarding further highly skilled professional talent to support the expansion of our expertise in, but not limited to, machine learning, data science, cloud-computing, cloud-based architecture, edge-environment management, internet of things application integration and mapping services.

MB: Our ambitious journey off the shores of Malta will be supported by our dedicated multicultural teams. They are committed to developing flagship technology and innovative solutions, making it available across cities globally as we expand. Of course, the perennial challenge to raise finance for technology products remains an uphill struggle which however we are confident will be overcome with the priceless support of the financing institutions. 2023 will make the start of this new chapter a reality for the Company, our employees and our country.

In the press:

Business Today

eCabs Google Noovle

eCabs partners with Noovle on machine learning project

eCabs has partnered with Noovle Malta Ltd, the international branch of Noovle S.p.A, part of TIM group and their main partner Google Cloud, to carry out a machine learning project. This serves as the next chapter in the evolution of the state-of-the-art mobility company’s platform. The project supports eCabs in moving onto its new generation of software. It also lays the foundations of AI through cutting-edge machine learning solutions to power the company’s soon to be international platform.

Working with Noovle and Google Cloud experts

In the project’s framework, eCabs team members work hand in hand with Noovle and Google Cloud experts. This allows the Malta-based tech company to leverage the multitude of its data points through the Learning Platform to empower real-time, machine-enabled analysis and real time actions. Consequently, this will thus allow the eCabs platform to make faster, more efficient, and more effective decisions based on market supply and demand.

The project objectives seek firstly to elevate eCabs’ technology to the intended next level in support of the company’s internationalisation plans by allowing instant, consistent and scalable improvement to its proprietary platform. The technology will accordingly enhance the optimised user experience for drivers and passengers by learning from automated decisions rooted in big data processing.

eCabs Google

The future of self-learning software

Luca di Michele, Chief Technology Officer at eCabs, said, “It is to our delight that we are collaborating with such expertise on the global market leading in machine learning platform, on such an important project that sees us move into our next generation of software development.”

As the next step in this project, eCabs is planning to use its data to create the future of self-learning software in their vertical, which shall be able to scale quickly based on big-data-driven decisions made by the machine learning process. Additionally, via this ambitious undertaking, the technical teams of eCabs are exposed to a great learning curve as they work with the best of the best professionals in the field.

eCabs Google

CTO di Michele added: “This is only the beginning. By improving our supply and demand analysis, we will be able to positively impact all other software components of our platform, such as estimated time of arrival and map mechanics to mention but a few examples. This is an important evolution of every aspect of the eCabs platform, which eventually boosts the data-driven aspect of our business by using automation.”

This machine learning collaboration comes after eCabs has recently successfully migrated to the Google Cloud Platform.

In the press:

Times of Malta | Who’s Who | The Malta Business Weekly|

eCabs Adyen

eCabs enlists global financial services provider Adyen

eCabs has partnered with Adyen to provide a new payment gateway for its global operations. Last year, the global financial technology platform processed €516 billion in transactions.

Through Adyen, which counts the likes of Facebook, Spotify, H&M, eBay, and Microsoft among its clients, eCabs will provide a highly efficient best-in-class payments service for both customers and drivers, installing another pillar for eCabs’ international growth programme.

The strategic move is intended to fuel eCabs international growth

Luca di Michele, Chief Technology Officer at eCabs, said, “We opted to partner with global player Adyen to make sure we are using the best-in-class that can accommodate both existing and future demand both in Malta and internationally. Adyen is a global stamp of quality. Its integration into the eCabs platform makes it even more attractive to international partners we are working with to deploy a leading-edge digital ride-hailing experience for their customers”.

Adyen “delighted to be partnering up with eCabs”

Roelant Prins, Chief Commercial Officer at Adyen, said, “We are delighted to be partnering up with eCabs to power their new payment solution. Our global financial technology platform is well positioned to match eCabs international scaling ambitions, offering a single global payment system that reduces the complexity of accepting payments across international borders.”

As part of its payment services Adyen also specialises in preventing, detecting, and responding to fraud, smart authentication of payments and in providing analysis and insights. It also offers features which enable customers to donate to good causes.

The Adyen move together with eCabs’ recent successful migration to the Google Cloud Platform are major steps in eCabs’ journey towards the internationalisation of its ride-hailing platform.

In the press:

The Malta Business Weekly | Business Today | The Malta Independent |

eCabs Chief Technology Officer Luca de Michele

eCabs appoint Chief Technology Officer

Technology arm poised for steady growth with appointment of Luca Di Michele as Chief Technology Officer.

Luca Di Michele has taken over the stewardship of eCabs’ technology team as Chief Technology Officer. He will be leading a growing multi-cultural team of software engineers from 13 nationalities. The team is building and shaping eCabs’ mobility technology platforms together with a growing extended team composed of QA specialists, product specialists, business analysts, and data analysts.

This appointment follows the company’s recent announcement of its corporate restructuring exercise. This saw the appointment of Andrew Bezzina as the new CEO for eCabs’ local operations. Matthew Bezzina is now leader for global operations and CEO for Cuorium Technologies, eCabs’ Technology arm.

Luca Di Michele joined eCabs in June of 2018 as a Senior Developer, moving on to Head of Development in September of 2019. In this role, he headed the team of developers at the newly set up Cuorium Technologies.

“Exciting times ahead of us” – eCabs Chief Technology Officer

“The company has been going through interesting phases of renewal and transformation over the past few years. I feel privileged to have been an integral part in shaping this transformation. We have built an awesome team of professionals here whom I am proud to have as colleagues. They are all driven by the same passion to see their creations come to life. And being given the liberty to explore and lead new technologies . We have exciting times ahead of us,” says Luca Di Michele, eCabs Chief Technology Officer.

eCabs Chief Technology Officer

Matthew Bezzina laid praise to eCabs’ new Chief Technology Officer saying, “Luca fully deserves this position. He has been given the space to grow. He has shown incredible ownership and leadership in building the technology that drives our platform with his team. Luca shares the same love and passion towards the brand as we do, and today knows this business inside out. We are fully confident that together with his growing team, we will keep our technology on its steady path, making an international success of it in the exciting years that lay ahead of us”.

In the press:

Times of Malta | Business Today | Who’s Who

eCabs technologists Luca Di Micele Mark Spiteri

We’ve got the power

How eCabs’ empowered technologists are engineering the growth of the company.

Very few people know that behind eCabs’ complex operation there is a fully-dedicated team of developers and in-house technologists, building and developing the company’s international-grade IT systems.

“When I came to join, I did not even know that the company had its very own team of developers who were running the eCabs App. Honestly, I was blown away when I was introduced to the whole set-up and was immediately offered the first project to work on the drivers’ app,” said Mark Spiteri, one of eCabs’ in-house developers.

“I wanted a new challenge and eCabs clearly want to go places with their technological efforts. More importantly, I realised the dynamic and technologically disruptive nature of eCabs in which I saw a company that was committed to harness the power of technology and was willing to invest in order to claim its rightful leadership position.

An amazing journey

“Looking back, it has been an amazing journey. But what’s more amazing is the fact that so much more is coming up our way as this sector is going through many important changes,” said Mr Spiteri.

Luca di Michele heads eCabs’ team of developers. He explained how, this year, eCabs founded Cuorium as its very own captive logistics software set-up which is now tasked with not only developing all the technology behind eCabs’ new IT infrastructure, but to transform this into a platform to enable the company to take its operations into the international market.

“Although owned by eCabs, Cuorium operates on the same engaging lines as those of a start-up. The structure is flat and communication between us and management is extremely dynamic. We source ideas, explore them together within the team, shape them in our programmatic plans, put them forward to the CTO and CEO and we evaluate them together until the way forward is identified,” said Mr Di Michele.

eCabs technologists

26,000 new app users in four months

“Up to two years ago, eCabs was running on a system built on outsourced software. This served its purpose to enable the growth of the company but was increasingly limited to match the growing needs of the operation. In parallel, the company’s strategy was evolving at a very fast pace in which technology was the centrepiece enabling its execution,” added Mr Di Michele.

“This is what led us to rebuild our platforms, with the medium-term objective of opening up the platform to other operators and the international market.

“We, therefore, set out on a long-term plan where the first target was to build our own system to fit the evolving operations framework of the company. Subsequently, we redesigned the whole interface, gave a new look that reflected the company’s evolved identity and plugged the system on to the new platform. The app’s success was instant.

“In the first four months of this year, 26,000 new users downloaded the app which eventually saw over 80,000 booked rides in the same period. To date, there have been almost 215,000 downloads of our eCabs App,”

Today, eCabs’ mobile app is a recognised best practice. It is highly rated for offering a very straightforward method of booking a ride within a few seconds.

A great tool helping eCabs technologists collect data

The app runs in parallel with three other methods of booking namely, phone bookings, e-mail bookings and web bookings, with new tech-based booking channels on the horizon in 2020. All these channels are operated from a fully-fledged contact centre handling hundreds of customer interactions on a 24/7 basis.

“We have been watching the technology behind our app revolutionise passenger mobility and how people decide and choose to commute. The app is also acting as a great tool that is helping us collect data to be able to improve our service by aligning our operations to the changing mobility trends. Having our own team of developers is now allowing the company to focus on solutions that cater for Malta’s unique needs,” added Mr Spiteri.

“One of the main features of the eCabs’ App is that once you book a cab, you can monitor in real time the location of the cab. Another smart feature is that when you pre-book a cab through the app, customers enjoy highly-beneficial rates.

“Our technology, together with our contact centre, are the heart of the company. Now that the app and our platforms have been completed, we are ready to move on to the next level. That of fuelling innovation across all our operations.”

“Developers are usually the ones working behind the scenes but at eCabs, I am proud to say that we constantly play a central role not only in the company’s IT evolution but also as protagonists in its commercial way forward,” the duo remarked.

A truly exciting place to be for eCabs technologists

Both are now already looking at some very exciting projects for next year.

“Being part of the eCabs’ tech team is a truly exciting place to be at this point in time. We are busy improving our tracking system whereby passengers will also be able to share their vehicle’s tracking with others. Additionally, we are working on a gamified loyalty scheme proposition to reward our customers more. We are adopting cutting-edge geo-spatial technologies, flirting with the application of AI and looking at better ways how to consume our huge data bank to enhance trip optimisation capabilities.

“We’re on the right track. This year, we managed to bring down the booking processing time from six seconds to one second and we want to review the post-booking phase in a more transparent way that reassures customers that their cab is actually on its way and at the best price possible. We could easily say that technology is enabling us to commit a much stronger value proposition to customers even on a day-to-day basis,” they added.

What’s most exciting for the future of the technologists at eCabs? “Invariably, reckoning that our platform will now be exposed on the international market is a unique experience for all of us and an opportunity of a lifetime,” Mr Spiteri and Mr Di Michele concluded.

In the press: