Hailo Receives $17M Investment led by Accel Partners to Expand Globally
Accel Partners recognizes innovation with landmark equity investment
Hailo, the largest app-based taxi network in any city in the world, today announced the successful completion of $17 million in Series A financing, one of the largest recent first round financings in Europe. Global venture capital firm Accel Partners (‘Accel’), which has invested in a number of global consumer companies including Facebook, Groupon, and Kayak, led the fundraising, building on its model of identifying and investing in innovative technology-focused businesses.
Hailo, a smartphone-based application which allows passengers to order a licensed cab with just two taps on an iPhone or Android device and launched in London in November 2011, will use the funding to accelerate growth in London and Dublin and expand into North America.
Co-founded by three London cab drivers and three technology entrepreneurs, the company received initial seed money from Wellington Partners, early investors in Spotify, and Atomico, the international venture capital firm that is headquartered in London and was founded by Niklas Zennström, who is best known for co-founding Skype.
Accel has invested extensively in the mobile sector, taking advantage of the explosive increase in smartphone penetration globally. Earlier mobile related investments include Rovio (Angry Birds), Admob, Amobee, Dropbox, Lookout, and Hotel Tonight.
Jay Bregman, CEO of Hailo, said; “Every day in major cities around the world, people waste millions of hours hunting for taxis, and drivers leave tens of millions of dollars on the table due to inefficiency in the market. “Hailo has rapidly transformed from an exciting concept to the world’s largest app-based personal transportation network in a single city and a force in putting dollars back into drivers’ pockets and saving customers time and hassle.
“In less than five months since the service was launched in London, more than 3,200 black cab drivers have registered with Hailo, carrying some 100,000 passengers. A Hailo cab is booked every minute of every day in London. We have embraced cutting-edge technology to change the way people use taxis, while providing a much-needed shot in the arm to one of London’s longest-standing and loved traditions – the black cab.
“Accel’s investment will help us continue to enhance our already popular and revolutionary London network and to take our unique, driver-first strategy into North America and beyond. Hailo will bring the elite London cab experience to major US cities in 2012.”
Adam Valkin, Partner at Accel Partners, said; “We believe that mobile will transform the personal transportation market and Hailo is well positioned to be a global player in this process. Over the past two years Hailo has demonstrated its ambition and execution capability by transforming a concept into the largest network of its kind. Our investment is a reflection of our confidence in the Hailo team and the opportunity ahead of them.”
Valkin, from Accel’s London office, will join the Hailo Board, and Palo Alto partner Sameer Gandhi will join the Board as an observer. Existing investors Atomico Ventures and Wellington Partners also participated in the round, and Daniel Waterhouse from Wellington Partners will also join the Hailo Board. Chris Dark from Atomico Ventures also joins as a Board observer.
Notes to Editors
Hailo is a network that matches passengers and licensed taxi drivers, using a tool which helps to make cabbies’ days more sociable – and profitable. The Hailo Driver Network (http://hailocab.com/drivers), accessed via iPhone or Android phone, is designed to be a driver’s companion – offering social features, advanced, private stats, sharing of traffic and demand events relevant to drivers, enabling credit card acceptance free to customers and at lower rates to drivers, and connecting them to customers directly.
Hailo is a Smartphone-based application that allows passengers to order a licensed cab with just two taps of your iPhone or Android device screen. It was launched to the public on 1 November 2011 and is completely free to download and use.
Hailo has been downloaded nearly 200,000 times by consumers and has an average 5-star review on more than 700 reviews on the iTunes App Store (UK), along with rave reviews on Twitter from both Drivers (@HailoDriver) and passengers (@HailoCab). Over 3,200 taxi drivers have already downloaded the app, making it the largest app-based taxi booking service in a single city in the world. Hailo has 45 Employees in London and is based on a ship, moored on the Thames.
About Accel Partners
Founded in 1983, Accel Partners has a long history of partnering with outstanding entrepreneurs and management teams to build world-class businesses. Accel today invests globally using dedicated teams and market-specific strategies for local geographies, with offices in Palo Alto, California, New York City, London and Bangalore, as well as in China via its partnership with IDG-Accel.
Accel has helped entrepreneurs build over 300 successful companies, many of which have defined their categories, including 99designs, Actuate, AdMob, Agile Software, Alfresco, Angry Birds (Rovio), Atlassian, BBN, Bonobos, Braintree, Brightcove, Cloudera, ComScore, Diapers.com (Quidsi), Dropbox, Etsy, Exclusively.in, Facebook, Flipkart, Fusion-IO, Gameforge, GlamMedia, Groupon, Imperva, Infinera, Interwoven, IronPlanet, JBoss, Kayak, Lookout, Macromedia, metroPCS, MoPub, Myntra, OPOWER, Polycom/PictureTel, Playfish, Portal Software, QlikTech,Rapt, Real Networks, Redback, Responsys, Riverbed, Spotify, Squarespace, SunRun, Trulia, UUNet, Veritas, Walmart.com, Webroot, Wonga, XenSource and Zimbra.
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