Startups To Watch In 2014 – Hailo
As you may have seen in our earlier post entitled Best Startup Business 2014, we are looking at companies that could vie for the title of Best Startup Business 2014.
In this series we are taking a look at some well-known success stories as well as brand new businesses that are still testing their offering. Our focus today falls on the creators of the taxi-hailing app Hailo, a fellow peer-to-peer service!
Known as “The Taxi Magnet”, Hailo is the genius creation that came about when three London cabbies met with three tech entrepreneurs back in 2010. They identified the problem that taxi drivers spent the majority of their time out driving around, looking out for new customers, during which time they were not earning. Their solution was to create an app that connected taxi drivers with passengers by way of a virtual hail.
Hailo was not the first company to make a move into the taxi app industry, but it was the first one to look at improving the services on offer from the driver’s perspective as well as the passenger’s, and ultimately this is what has led to Hailo’s success. London’s taxi industry is over 400 years old and well regarded the world over, so Hailo was not looking to take it down, but to improve it and bring it forward into the modern age.
“Well, we think you don’t have to destroy an industry to be disruptive”
– co-CEO of Hailo Tom Barr
By utilising the data and GPS functions of the driver and passenger’s smartphones, Hailo massively increases the range and visibility of a person wanting to hail a cab. It means the passenger and driver do not have to be within eyesight of each other. They do not even have to be on the same street!
Due to this new ability of the virtual hail offered by Hailo, the efficiency of a driver’s day and the convenience gained by his passenger have both improved greatly, which is why the company has seen so much success.
Having launched in London in November 2011, Hailo has expanded rapidly to cover major cities across the globe in USA, Ireland, Spain, Canada and Japan. But what does the future hold for this bright young startup?
Having secured plenty of funding (more than $50M) over the past 3 years from many famous investors (including Sir Richard Branson), Hailo is due to continue to increase its reach worldwide by moving into cities such as Tokyo and Manchester. It is also on the verge of rolling out a new service called Hailo Plus, which will be dealing with executive car hire, offering the option of limousine instead of a regular taxi, costing about 50% more. This will be set up to run parallel to the current service in the same cities.
We think that Hailo is a fantastic product and we look forward to seeing how it develops in this exciting new stage in its history. All the best!