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October 14, 2014

Hailo bows out of North America while its rivals duke it out

by John_A

When you think of hailing cars from your smartphone, you probably envision Uber’s fleet of black cars or Lyft’s festive pink mustaches. Competitors like mobile cab-hailing startup Hailo never reached critical mass outside Europe the same way its two biggest rivals did — that’s why it revealed today that it’s bailing out of North America entirely. According to the Financial Times, Hailo isn’t retreating from the US because it wasn’t up for a fight; it’s more that the ongoing price war between Uber and Lyft meant there was no real way Hailo could stick around and turn a profit. How quickly things change.

After all, it was just two years ago (almost to the day) that a bright-eyed Hailo first launched in the United States — now the company’s outposts in Boston, Chicago and Washington DC are on the verge of being shuttered. Hailo’s been a pretty prominent player in Canada too, though its not completely done for up there: Toronto’s city lead told TechCrunch that a licensing deal is on the table, and that customers can continue to cruise down Bloor St. in cabs they’ve e-hailed. Now that Hailo’s ridding itself of a major burden, it’ll continue its quest to snap up users where the on-demand car war doesn’t already have a clear winner. In this case, we’re talking about the rest of Europe and parts of Asia (like Singapore, where the startup is gearing to up to launch someday soon).

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Via: Business Insider

Source: Financial Times

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