The Strategist

Daimler to create a competitor for Uber

07/26/2016 - 14:56

Merger of mytaxi Daimler and Hailo will create the largest smartphone taxi service in Europe, able to compete with Uber, the current dominant of taxi market.

Alper Çuğun via flickr
Alper Çuğun via flickr
British Hailo, which operates in Ireland and Spain, will combine their services with mytaxi, available in Austria, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. The company declined to disclose terms of the transaction.

"As a result of the agreement, Daimler will hold 60% of the new company and Halio’s stakeholders will get 40%", - said Halio’s CEO Andrew Pinnington, who is going to become Executive Director of the merged company.

Founder of mytaxi Niclaus Mewes will become a member of the supervisory board and Managing Director of Daimler Mobility Services GmbH. The joint venture will operate under the brand mytaxi, with headquarters in Hamburg.

The company said that 100 thousand registered taxi drivers in more than 50 cities will allow organizing transportation of 70 million passengers across nine European countries. The new company will operate using its own taxis as opposed to Uber in the United States.

This year, Volkswagen Group signed a similar deal. The carmaker took a share of $ 300 million in Gett and General Motors, and invested $ 500 million in LYFT.

Hailo company was founded in 2010 in England by 6 individuals, some of whom are taxi drivers. 

Throughout its existence, Hailo company raised more than $ 100 million in various investment areas, among which we can highlight the Union Square Ventures, Accel Partners, Wellington Partners, Atomico Ventures. The company was also noticed and supported by Sir Richard Branson.

Mytaxi is a mobile taxi platform, launched in 2009 in Hamburg by Daimler. In 2014, Daimler became a 100% investor of mytaxi.

Earlier, Head and Founder of Gett Taxi Shahar Waiser told TehKrunch that his service is a leader in the European passenger transport market.

Now, Gett dominates in Europe in terms of "volume of rides, revenues and profits," said Waiser. Corporate clients bring one-third of the company's revenue. According to Waiser, more than four thousand companies have already chosen the service.

At the same time, Gett’s Head acknowledged that, despite the service’s success in Tel Aviv, London and Moscow, the company is having some difficulties in the United States. In particular, there were problems with registration of a sufficient number of drivers to meet the demand in New York.

Now, the States are dominated by Uber and "traditional yellow taxi" cabs. Waiser recognized that, yet noted that "New York is our fastest growing market."

Currently, Gett operates in more than 60 cities. In the near future, the company plans to expand its presence in Europe. According to Waiser, Gett is readying to get a support from a large carmaker. 

In May 2016, Gett raised $ 300 million from Volkswagen. Speaking to TechCrunch, Waiser said that the partnership with Volkswagen can help the companies get access to self-driving cars. He predicted that by 2030, such kind of vehicles will occupy half of the world’s auto market.

Commenting on concern of drivers that autonomous cars would deprive them of work, Waiser said that this is an inevitable process. "This is an elephant in the room" – said the company’s Head.