Summary:

Cabulous, formerly the app known for hailing taxis in major U.S. cities, is re-branding as Flywheel on Thursday, promising to add more transportation options like black cars and eventually expand internationally as part of a push to solve all of a consumer’s transportation needs.

Image 1 for post Need a cab? Flag one or call #TAXI on your cell( 2008-09-16 18:26:07)

It’s hard to think how re-naming your company ever spells success, (is re-naming the new pivot?) but for a company with cash in the bank and a working technology, it’s understandable how a fresh start might be an enticing option. Or at least that’s what Cabulous seems to be thinking, changing customer expectations by re-branding itself as FlyWheel beginning Thursday, updating its mobile apps on iOS and Android, and adding black cars and an eventual international presence to its current cab hailing technology.

Flywheel logoCEO Steve Humphreys said the company is changing the name because Cabulous is very “very taxi-centric” and very English-specific. Given that the company wants to address the transportation concerns of different types of people with a variety of options, including black cars and eventually international taxis, the company is looking for a more all-encompassing name.

“We want to be your practical get-around-town solution,” he said in an interview. “We didn’t want it to be a super serious name. We wanted the brand to be kind of fun.”

The company just raised an $8 million funding round in June led by RockPort Capital and Shasta Ventures, making the re-name timing slightly odd, but it’s also easy to understand how they’d want a new direction as the ride-sharing and collaborative consumption model has changed so quickly even in just the past few months. Since June, Lyft launched its public product for on-demand rides, Uber added taxis and hybrid cards to its lineup, and even the car-sharing market got more crowded.

It seems that for Cabulous, providing taxis alone isn’t enough, and it will take a foray into new territory — as well a new name — to keep up with the competition.

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