Talking tech since 2003

The taxi industry has seen a lot of disruption recently from the entrance of companies like Uber and the recent victory for e-hailing apps, the entire industry is in this flux of sorts.  As technology has advanced, it has left several car service companies high and dry — not able to take advantage of the tech or compete with the Uber’s of the world.  But today, that is about to change.  A company called GetTaxi is launching in New York City today and it’s hoping its army of “G-Cars” will be able to solve the taxi problem in NYC once and for all.

GetTaxi has launched in other countries around the world, including the UK, Israel, and Russia, but the NYC launch will be its first in the U.S.  The reception has been great for GetTaxi, especially in the business world.  The company has a number of Fortune 500 companies including Google, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, PWC, and others as clients already thanks in large part to its ability to offer central booking, billing, and analytics.

But the Big Apple launch of GetTaxi is also for every day customers.  “We believe this is exactly what New York needs,” said Jing Herman, CEO of GetTaxi (USA), “We want to combine taxi service and technology with customer service.”  Customer service is a big part of what GetTaxi is all about — they have a 24/7 customer service line in basically every language so you can always get help if you need it.

Additionally, it seems GetTaxi is willing to go above and beyond the call of duty.  For example, while I was speaking to Ms. Herman she told me a story about a woman who was stranded on the FDR Drive after her yellow cab got into an accident, somehow the woman found GetTaxi after some Googling and called their HQ in NY asking how she could get picked up. Now keep in mind, at that time GetTaxi was still in its pilot program within NYC but they helped the woman anyway, they had her download the app and got her setup with an account, she was then picked up shortly thereafter and made it safely to her destination.

Instead of building its own fleet of cars (which is what Uber has done), GetTaxi partners with car service companies and offers them its technology.  By partnering with car service companies GetTaxi can build up its network of G-Cars easily and quickly.  According to Ms. Herman, there are 45,000 car service cars in New York City, a number which dwarfs the 13,000 yellow cabs — and GetTaxi wants to be the backbone which connects all those car service cars.

In terms of pricing, GetTaxi is pretty competitive.  The service is a flat rate between destinations no matter how long you sit in traffic (as is the case with most car services).  If you are traveling during rush hour, there is a single additional charge of $5.  One nice thing about GetTaxi is that you know how much it will cost before setting foot in the car, you put in where you want to go and the app will calculate the cost and from there you can decide whether or not you want to arrange for a pickup.

If you are in NYC definitely download the app (iPhoneAndroid, BlackBerry and Windows Phone — coming soon) today and use the promotional code BestTechie to get a little special something.

GetTaxi is launching with over 1,000 cars in its network and plans to work with yellow cabs in the future as well.  So far, the company has been growing by 50 percent every quarter (without NY) and I’m told will be profitable in 18 of the 20 cities it operates in by the end of the year. Along with the NYC launch today, GetTaxi has closed a $12 million Series C round lead by Kreos Capital, bringing its total funding to $42 million.


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