Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.
GetTaxi has announced a whopping $20m funding round as the Israeli startup ramps up its international efforts and sets its sights on the lucrative NYC taxi market.
We’ve seen a surge in taxi apps in recent times, with the likes of Hailo securing $17m in series A funding, and Uber continuing its own global expansion efforts.
With that in mind, GetTaxi has been gaining ground, recently rolling out version 2.0 of its iOS app, followed quickly after by its Android counterpart. And with an extra $20m in its coffers, GetTaxi is hoping to “transform” the taxi experience in The Big Apple.
It’s also worth noting that GetTaxi could be attempting to blindside Hailo by getting a foothold in The City That Never Sleeps. New York was the obvious contender for Hailo’s first foray into North America, but it seems that regulations are rather tight there which is why it’s opting to start off its North American operations in Chicago first. Though Hailo co-founder Jay Bregman tells us that he has now fully re-located to NYC to manage its rollout there, and it has a team working towards a full launch there some time in the autumn.
This is in addition to our teams in Chicago, Toronto, Boston, and Dublin, which are all now fully staffed and barreling toward full launches before the end of the year.
Just thought you might want to update the article based on this new information – as I was born in NYC it has a special meaning for me to bring Hailo back
Founded in 2010 by entrepreneurs Shahar Waiser-Smirin and Roi More, GetTaxi went on to raise more than $10m in funding before today’s announcement, and its mobile apps – including iOS, Android and BlackBerry – currently serve users in London, Moscow and 13 cities across Israel. It will also soon be launching in France, Italy, Germany and Spain.
The recent rollout of GetTaxi’s new apps means that if you’re not sure about your current location when booking a taxi, you have the choice of entering either your location using GPS or a well-known landmark, such as a café or restaurant nearby. And a new radar feature enables you to see where the taxis are in your vicinity too.
This latest investment round is primarily a follow-on cash injection by Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries, a global industrial and investment firm which owns Warner Music, with participation by founders Waiser and More.
“This funding will enable us to provide the same remarkable service across the world’s major metropolises: NYC, London and Moscow,” says Waiser. “Already today, at peak times, there is a GetTaxi ride booked every second somewhere in the world. We believe consumers and businesses deserve the ability to book and pay for a taxi quickly and securely at the click of a button on their smartphone from anywhere. GetTaxi’s vision is to change the industry in such a way that taxis will be affordable for everyone, and available in less than a minute. This will make GetTaxi the preferred choice for getting around the city.”
GetTaxi’s expansion into New York City follows Uber’s launch in the city last May. This is a massive move for the startup, as it’s one of the world’s biggest markets for taxis. “New York City is taking big steps to improve ground transportation and GetTaxi is poised to help make this transformation a reality,” adds Jing Wang Herman, CEO of GetTaxi USA. “Imagine, knowing you’ll always be able to find a cab, no matter what part of the city you’re in, and knowing exactly how long it will take to find you. We are excited to bring the GetTaxi revolution to the most iconic city for taxis in the world.”
Herman is a New York City resident and recent Forbes 30-under-30 member who left a career in finance to lead GetTaxi’s US effort. She is also the proud owner of a New York City taxi license.
In addition to the consumer apps, GetTaxi’s drivers are equipped with a dedicated plug-and-ride driver unit which allows them to minimize wasted cruising time, make more money, and also crowdsource jobs for each other.
“We are confident that the GetTaxi phenomenon will spread fast and wide and we plan to be available in all major taxi markets around the world,” adds Waiser.
GetTaxi currently has 110 employees, 2,500 taxis running its tech and has notched up 400,000 downloads across all mobile platforms.
➤ GetTaxi: iOS | Android | BlackBerry
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