taxi booking apps are developing quite well in Europe. Great news for
the consumers. But taxi companies are worrying.
In 2009, the German Hamburg-based start-up MyTaxi created an app which connected directly taxi-drivers and consumers. Consumers could then book directly a cab. In 2010, the American start-upUber came up with a quite similar idea : an "on demand black car service". (here)
Approximately 2 years later, how does the European market look like?
Well, MyTaxi has become one of the biggest players. The application is available in more than 20 cities in Germany, they are present in Austria and in Switzerland. They received Series-A-Funding in March 2011, coming from T-Venture (the corporate Deutsche Telekom VC Fund) and the KfW.
But competition is great, and it is coming from London and the USA.
Last year, Hailo raised $3M in seed funding from Atomico Ventures and Wellington Partners (2 funds that invested in companies such as Skype and Spotify, so Hailo has great investors!). Hailo launched its app in November 2011, and there are already more than 10% of the London cabs which are using the app.
Coming from the USA, Uber launched its app in Paris last December (see here the TechCrunch article). The very same month, Uber announced that they received $32M From Menlo Ventures, Jeff Bezos and Goldman Sachs (see here the TechCrunch article). So Uber has now the financial capacity to expand very fast in Europe. Moreover, as Uber has already spread in American cities (from San Francisco to New York, Washington DC, Boston, Seattle and Chicago), there are lots of American who are using the app, and who are Uber’s European potential consumers when they travel to Europe.
Another question mark is the reaction of cab companies. They are not really happy with these new competitors. In Vienna, a taxi driver has been sacked because he was using MyTaxi app. In Germany too, taxi companies are attacking MyTaxi (here). Let’s wait a few months to get the Parisian reaction, but for sure, there will be one.