London-based mobile taxi network Hailo is set to close a $30 million round of funding as it sets its sights on the U.S. market, reports AllThingsD. The Series B funding round is likely being led by Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures. Earlier this year, Hailo raised a $17 million round of series A financing led by Accel Partners.
According to AllThingsD's sources, the new round values Hailo at about $140 million, a discount from Uber which was valued at more than twice that amount when it closed $32 million in Series B funding one year ago.
Hailo launched in London in 2011 and landed stateside in mid-October, when it officially opened for business in Boston, its first U.S. city. In London, Hailo matched passengers and licensed taxi drivers (unlike Uber, which uses private black cars), and in Boston it continued that model, working with city officials before service started there. In Toronto, where Hailo also started operating in the fall, the company sought out a cab company license. Hailo hopes this will help it avoid the regulatory problems that Uber has run into in NYC, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and other major U.S. cities.
Hailo's latest funding will help it prepare to do battle with Uber in Manhattan, where New Yorkers will be able to hail cab with smartphones starting on February 15 thanks to a year-long pilot program adopted by the Taxi and Limousine Commission.
Hailo has been emailed for comment and we'll update if we get a response.