Karhoo, new taxi/FHV comparison and booking app, launches in London

Karhoo, new taxi/FHV comparison and booking app, launches in London

Karhoo, a new cab comparison and booking app that has signed up hundreds of London’s licensed taxi and private hire fleets, launches in London today, Monday May 9, with more than 30,000 cabs, giving passengers more choice and offering local cab companies a lifeline for their businesses. It’s expected to be available in 30 cities around the globe before the end of the year.

The app, which gives customers the choice of more licensed cabs than any other in the UK, claims in a press release to have significant funding, a scalable model and a UK network of more than 80,000 cabs. Some of the biggest household names, including Addison Lee and ComCab, as well as a host of local firms such as KV Cars, Swiss Cottage Cars and Mornington Cars have signed up to Karhoo’s proprietary technology, giving them access to more customers across the centre of the capital as well as its suburbs.

The vendor-neutral platform allows passengers to compare cabs available to book in their area by price, proximity and vehicle style. The app then lets passengers book days, weeks or months in advance or choose immediate pickup with their preferred cab company, giving both local and national operators access to thousands more customers. Karhoo says that passengers can also make multiple bookings, and, with transparent pricing and no surge, Karhoo passengers know the price they book will be the price they pay, no matter what time of day or night they travel.

Nicholas Monteith, the owner of Mornington Cars in north London, said: “Without doubt, Karhoo is a lifesaver for the classic, licensed minicab driver. It will help protect the minicab industry and allow us to fight back, bringing us jobs that we would otherwise not have been able to access. It gives us the chance of more work while giving consumers more choice. It allows us to compete.”

Sean McDonagh, a Director at ComCab, said: “By downloading Karhoo, both customers and drivers will benefit. Passengers will have access to ComCab’s fleet of fully licensed and professional London Taxi drivers while Karhoo’s technology provides our fleet of drivers with more business and a greater exposure to the market. Karhoo is really levelling the playing field.”

“London’s trusted black cabs drivers are renowned for their superior service and knowledge of London’s roads. They can ensure that passengers are taken the shortest and quickest route to their destination.”

Karhoo, which has offices in London, New York, Los Angeles, Singapore and Mumbai, will have a million licensed cabs across the globe by the end of the year and be available in 30 cities.

Daniel Ishag, CEO and Founder of Karhoo, said: “There’s no better city than London in which to launch our game-changing cab comparison app. Finally, we are giving the generation the smartest way to choose and book a cab ride. Over the last 15 years, millions have been spent by industries educating consumers about comparison services. Hotels, airlines and insurance companies all use comparison sites but ground transportation was lagging behind, until now. By working with operators that only used licensed, professional drivers, Londoners are getting the service they deserve.”

“Karhoo gives passengers more choice and transparency when booking a cab and, with our ever-growing network of local operators, Karhoo will make it easier to book a ride outside central London than ever before”.

Research conducted by Karhoo found that almost half of Londoners want their local cab company to survive and take a dim view of aggressive measures from bigger companies. The poll of 2,000 Londoners also revealed that being able to pre-book a cab is essential for 71 per cent of people.

Passengers also worry about safety, with two-thirds maintaining that having a licensed cab driver when taking a ride with their children is very important to them. Almost three quarters of people said that having a driver that knows where they are going was a factor when booking their journey.

Through integrated technology that allows real-time data sharing, Karhoo will be able to advise local cab firms where passenger demand is at any given time, allowing them to direct their drivers to hot spots and fill more ‘dead miles’ than ever before. Working directly with established cab operators and their fleets, Karhoo can expand more quickly than the driver-by-driver model used by other app-based services.

Ishag added: “There are other players in the market but it is all very fragmented. Not only are we levelling the playing field for all established operators, we are bringing countless companies online and into the e-hail revolution with our proprietary technology that allows them to compete.”

• Karhoo launches in London and is available to download for iOS and Android now.

Via attracts financing, despite Silicon Valley’s nervousness about ride sharing

Via attracts financing, despite Silicon Valley’s nervousness about ride sharing

The start-up Via, a ride-sharing service that pools commuters, faced some headwinds as it sought new financing recently. Its primary competitors include two of Silicon Valley’s best-financed companies, Uber and Lyft. And it went looking for new financing at a time when venture capitalists have begun to tighten their purse strings amid concern that many of the start-ups that they have backed may not survive.

Yet Via appears to have done well: The company was to announce Thursday that it had closed on $70 million in a new round of financing, with an additional $30 million expected to close in the next several weeks.

The latest round was led by Pitango Growth, an investment firm based in Israel, and included C4 Ventures, Hearst Ventures and the investment firm of the billionaire Roman Abramovich, who may be better known as the owner of the London soccer team Chelsea. About 70 percent of the new round came from new investors, according to Isaac Hillel, a managing general partner of Pitango Growth.

Autonomous vehicles are the future

Autonomous vehicles are the future

But when’s that future starting? Right now these vehicles are very much driving around in a crystal ball. Will busdrivers be superfluous in ten year’s time? And will taxidrivers be mere stewards in their vehicles, looking after passengers with special mobility needs? With urbanisation drawing more and more people to the cities, will autonomous vehicles be the saviours of public transport in less-densely populated areas? Or will they replace busroutes in these (over)populated cities? Let’s compare notes: who can make the best-educated prediction for public transport, coaches and the taxi and FHV sectors.

The Paris climate conference COP21

The Paris climate conference COP21

The climate conference COP21 in Paris has reminded us how precarious the state of our climate is at present and how many big steps need to be taken (quickly) to reduce CO2-emissions worldwide and slow down the warming up of the earth. With many countries and especially (inner) cities influencing (or downright forcing) mobility operators in their choice of vehicle mode and particularly the type of fuel used, each sector needs to make quick changes. There are still years to bridge with conventional vehicles and systems before electrically powered autonomous vehicles appear on the scene. But what route are we taking to that future? The e-route or the Hydrogen-route, both part of the same camp. Or can more be squeezed out of our present-day modes, to make them more energy-efficient, leaner and cleaner? Let’s hear the specialists on this topic.

Taxi & Mobility Update 2016: Smartly solving the Mobility Puzzle

Taxi & Mobility Update 2016: Smartly solving the Mobility Puzzle

Mobility is changing rapidly. Mobility solutions are getting more personalised. Apps and different providers are making the mobility landscape more individualised.

Tomorrow’s mobility will be more tailormade. Even before autonomous vehicles appear on our streets, Taxi and For Hire Vehicles, Transportation Network Companies (TNC’s), public transport operators, coach companies and bike and carsharing systems will each fill in part of the mobility puzzle.

Who’s going to do what? Which operator or company is going to take the lead? The two-day annual Taxi & Mobility Update – previously held in Amsterdam – gives an in-depth overview of the mobility industry and provides (smart) answers to solving the mobility puzzle.

In the heart of Europe, specialists from all over the world will provide our target-audience (taxi and FHV-operators, public transport specialists, TNC’s, regulators, mobility associations, academics, consultants, politicians and suppliers to the mobility industry) with answers to solving the Mobility Puzzle.

Join us in Brussels on June 23 and 24! Register for the newsletter and check this new sister-website to for regular information on Taxi & Mobility Update 2016!