Flywheel, the app that hooks up taxi drivers with riders, announced Rakesh Mathur as the new CEO today. Mathur served as an Amazon VP in the early days, after the “The Everything Store” purchased his e-commerce startup Junglee.
Mathur has brought in a new executive team and $12 million in a series C round of funding from TCW/Craton, Rockport Capital and Shasta Ventures. All three venture firms supported Flywheel’s last round for $14.8 million. This puts Flywheel’s total bankroll to date at nearly $35 million.
San Francisco’s Yellow Cab may not have embraced the app for its own fleet (it made its own). But it is the number one preferred cab app among taxi drivers in S.F. Flywheel has partnered with nearly all of cab companies throughout the city, excepting Yellow Cab, and claims over 80 percent adoption among cab drivers here. Early Flywheel adopter DeSoto Cabs plans to roll out its own fleet of Flywheel-branded cars in the coming weeks.
“The speed, safety and reliability of the taxi community combined with Flywheel’s ability to provide rides quickly has created a compelling alternative to Uber in San Francisco,” Mathur stated in a release.
Flywheel plans to use the new funds to expand the service in more cities and cab companies throughout the U.S. “We look forward to sharing this offering with taxi fleets across the nation while promoting an equal opportunity culture that rewards the honest, hard working drivers that Uber has vilified,” Mathur said, throwing some obviously timely shade on its largest ride-sharing competitor.
Percy Rajani left his position at Humin recently to join the cab startup as CTO. Oneal Bhambani, a concurrent partner at TCW/Craton, joins Flywheel as the new CFO.