GetTaxi, an app aimed at letting people order taxis from their smartphones or via the web, has already gained significant traction in the UK, Russia and Israel. But now it has its sights set on conquering the United States — and New York City is the first on its list. So, the company is announcing today, it has raised $20 million in brand new funding to help fund its expansion efforts.
The $20 million serves as a follow-on funding round for GetTaxi, and it was led by previous investors Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries with participation by company founders Shahar Waiser and Roi More. GetTaxi, which was founded in 2010, had previously raised $11 million in outside venture capital, so this round brings its total outside funding to approximately $30 million.
In the video embedded at the bottom of this post, you can see our interview with Jing Wang Herman, who joined GetTaxi last month to serve as its CEO of US operations. Herman has had a long career in the financial space as a banker, but she has a unique twist: She is also licensed to work as a New York City taxi driver. Herman told us that the taxi industry has long been a passion of hers, and that ordering a cab from a smartphone has been something she’s envisioned for years, so the opportunity to expand GetTaxi’s platform was one she had to jump at.
Of course, GetTaxi isn’t without its competitors. In the higher-end personal transportation realm Uber has of course taken the space by storm in recent months, and in the cab market apps such as Cabulous have cracked other cities such as San Francisco, and apps such as Hailo have stated aims to get into the NYC market. With its experience growing in the international space, GetTaxi is positioning itself as a reliable and scalable new option — and one that New York City should choose as its officially recommended taxi-hailing smartphone app.
Right now, GetTaxi has 100 employees, with Herman the only full-timer in the United States. The company plans to add to its U.S. headcount as it grows in the months ahead. Its New York launch date is still not set, but it will occur sometime in the coming months, Herman says.