On-demand taxi startup Hailo is ready to ramp up scaling and expanding its service into new markets, both in the U.S. and internationally. To do that, it’s bolstering its senior management team by bringing on former Ubiquisys CFO Fraser Park and has promoted former Starbucks exec Tom Barr to co-CEO.
Hailo is one of the growing number of on-demand for-hire car services that is spreading around the world, providing some competition to companies like Uber and Lyft. But unlike those startups, who work with black car companies and independent contractors, Hailo provides a way for passengers to hire taxis via its mobile app.
Since being launched in November 2011, the company has expanded into a dozen major markets in five countries around the world. Service is available in London, Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Barcelona, and Madrid in Europe; Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New York City, Toronto, Montreal, and Washington, D.C. in North America; and Tokyo and Osaka in Asia.
But Hailo has big plans to expand into even more markets over the coming year. To help provide some finance and operational support, the company hired Park as its new CFO.
Park had last served as CFO of femtocell manufacturer Ubiquisys, which sold to Cisco for $310 million in March of last year. Prior to that, the company had raised a $19 million round of funding from investors that included 5CCG / Sallfort Privatbank and NTT DoCoMo venture arm Mobile Internet Capital. Prior to that, he had also held finance roles at Psion, Tandberg Television, ViaNetworks, and RiverSoft.
The hiring of Park isn’t the only big move Hailo has made to solidify its team ahead of expansion: It also promoted US President & COO Barr to Co-CEO, as he will be splitting the title with founder Jay Bregman.
Barr joined the company around the same time that it raised $30 million from Union Square Ventures, KDDI, and others. As the VP of Global Coffee at Starbucks, Barr oversaw more than $1 billion in revenue at the company. When he was hired, the idea was that he would take on more responsibility as time went on, eventually taking on more of the operational responsibilities as the company grew into new markets.
With the new title, Barr will be handling most of the day-to-day operations. Bregman, meanwhile, will Chairman and Co-CEO working on strategy and future vision for the company, as well as some skunkworks projects to help redefine the product, Barr told me.
The goal is to get Hailo in as many new markets as possible by the end of the year. That means targeting 50 markets in about a dozen countries around the world, according to Barr.
Of course, in many of those markets, Hailo will be launching behind one or more other for-hire services. Uber is live in about 70 cities worldwide, while Lyft is in another 20 markets in the U.S., with international plans ramping up this year. And, of course, there’s competition from others, like Gett and Rocket Internet’s Easy Taxi, in various places around the globe.