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Just a few weeks ago, things were looking up for on-demand car service Uber. After hitting some regulatory roadblocks in a few major cities across the country, the San Francisco-based company got the okay to move forward in Washington, DC and New York (on a pilot basis). But now it looks like it will have to contend with another issue — albeit one it was expecting — competition.
Hailo, a London-based competitor, is on the verge of closing a $30 million round of funding aimed at helping the company gain traction in the US and, specifically, New York City, according to AllThingsD. And, to make matters worse for Uber, the round is reportedly being led by top New York-based VC Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures. The round follows a $17 million Series A found of funding from Accel Partners, Atomico and Wellington Partners earlier this year.
Like Uber, Hailo lets people hail cabs on the go from their iPhone or Android devices. Earlier this month, New York’s City Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a pilot program permitting e-hailing services, opening the door for both car services to take on the Big Apple. As GigaOM has reported, it’s a space with no clear winner yet. Hailo and Uber aren’t the only companies eyeing New York — Get Taxi and Taxi Magic have also thrown their hats into the ring. In addition to New York, Hailo has targeted Boston, Chicago and Toronto in North America.