New company to drop Hailo name use mytaxi brand with head office in Hamburg, Germany, with Hailo CEO in charge of new group
Mytaxi and Hailo, two companies that specialise in taxi e-hailing, are joining forces and creating Europe’s largest taxi e-hailing company with 70 million passengers and 100.000 registered taxi drivers in over 50 cities across nine countries.
Hailo was founded in London in 2010 as a group effort between three technology entrepreneurs and three taxi drivers which operated in a similar way to many other taxi apps. The two companies operate across Europe, with Hailo operating in the UK, Ireland, and Spain, while mytaxi is available in Austria, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. The merger makes the geographic footprint of the two companies very complementary.
Unlike rival Uber, Hailo was founded on the principles of working closely with black cabs and used its taxi driver cofounders to build a close relationship with cab drivers, a relationship Uber has failed to equal.
Hailo struggled with its US expansion plans, after arriving in New York in 2013, failing to build the same relationship with American cabbies, causing major problems inside the company. Hailo did succeed in raising $30 million from US venture capital fund Union Square Venture, as well as Richard Branson.
But, with Uber dominating the more expensive town car market, Hailo was forced to make money from cheaper rides, which resulted in Hailo laying off 40 employees in New York and Hailo CEO Jay Bregman leaving the company.
Finally, a year after launching an Uber style service for minicabs, in October 2015 Hailo dropped its Transport for London private hire license, terminating its ability to run an Uber-like minicab service. It stopped offering rides from private vehicles and instead went back to only black cabs.
The newly formed company will operate under the mytaxi brand and will rebrand all Hailo operations in UK, Ireland, and Spain by mid 2017. Andrew Pinnington will be appointed CEO of the new company. Niclaus Mewes, founder of mytaxi, is taking a seat on the supervisory board and in addition he will become Managing Director of Daimler Mobility Services GmbH. He will play a central role in the integration and strategic development of the new mytaxi company.
“The joining of mytaxi and Hailo is another strategic step in making us a leader of mobility solutions and platforms. By providing mobility at your fingertips, customers can enjoy various forms of mobility with a transparent overview and easy to pay services. This investment is in addition to the nearly 500 million Euros we’ve already invested in building mobility platforms and services over the last years. We are prepared to make further strategic investments as we continuously build our mobility eco-system.” said Klaus Entenmann, Chairman of Daimler Financial Services AG.
“By combining Hailo and mytaxi, we have created the largest European taxi e-Hailing company. We bring together world class technology, an iconic brand, high quality people and the financial backing of our shareholders”, said Andrew Pinnington, CEO designate of mytaxi.Niclaus Mewes, founder of mytaxi, said: “Hailo and mytaxi are both market leaders in the countries we operate. Together we are even stronger and we look forward to further innovative transport and mobility solutions as we provide compelling offers for both drivers and passengers.”
Mytaxi, founded in 2009, was the first taxi-hailing app developer in the world, but it has faced fierce competition from players like Uber Technologies, which connects app users with cheaper rides. The competition has intensified this year as Daimler competitors have stepped into the ride-hailing market as part of an effort to diversify their revenue into the so-called mobility services market. In May, Daimler’s direct competitor Volkswagen invested $300 million in Gett. In the U.S., Detroit, Mich.-based General Motors invested $500 million in Lyft in January.
The announcement of the proposed combined business is subject to the approval of the European Regulatory Authorities and a decision is expected in the next weeks. The deal is part of the strategic investment by Daimler, one of the car industry’s biggest manufacturers.