You wanna bitch about valuations and call this a bubble? Go ahead. I, for one, love that a flood of we-can-do-anything enthusiasm fueled by seemingly infinite cheap venture capital is disrupting all kinds of annoying, antiquated corners of the real world. Groupon is changing local business in a fundamental way, Airbnb is disrupting hotels and of course in San Francisco and New York, Uber has given people willing to pay just a little more a superior taxi experience.
But– as much as I love Uber– a new Israeli-based startup called Get Taxi is so ambitious it makes math-based, complex Uber look like a lemonade stand.
I don’t mean this as a knock on Uber. Uber is building a company city-by-city in a sober rational way. Get Taxi is going huge, swinging for the fences. Obviously the bigger the initial ambition, the bigger risk it could fail big. (Just ask WebVan.) And a big advantage is that Get Taxi is skipping the US and launching in Europe, where the taxi industry is a lot easier to disrupt en masse because it’s mostly made up of non-union independent contractors. (Refresher: Uber invoked lawsuits immediately and can’t even legally keep “cab” in its name.)
It launches in London in two weeks, Moscow in two months and cities in France and Germany soon after that. Forget proving a concept, it’s launching in the largest cab markets first. And instead of focusing on black cabs, Get Taxi is trying to replace dispatch systems in all cabs in all major European cities.