Earlier today, Hailo revealed that it would be closing its North American operations. The closure announcement from Hailo included its operations in Chicago, New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Montreal and Toronto, but Hailo North America President and Toronto office lead Justin Raymond told TechCrunch that in the Canadian market, it would seek a licensing deal and keep the doors open. Hailo has now responded, saying that such a deal definitely won’t happen.
A representative for Hailo says the company is shutting down all markets completely, and won’t be striking a licensing deal in Toronto. Based on what I’ve heard from sources close to the operation, the efforts to keep the Toronto office up and running stemmed from a management disagreement, but with Hailo not extending either its brand or its software to the splinter group, it doesn’t look good.
Hailo also says that rather than simply turning tail and running from Uber and Lyft, it’s actually refocusing its growth efforts on the Asian market, where it has had great early success in Tokyo and Osaka so far. A huge percentage of the taxi business actually exists outside the U.S., a company spokesperson explained, and a return to North America is far from off the table. Hailo would indeed contemplate a re-entry is the U.S. and Canada a few years down the road, depending on how well its current focus succeeds.