Israeli taxi on-demand app Gett, the global on demand taxi app competing with Uber, has launched a bid to acquire Radio Taxis from Mountview House Group in a multi-million pound deal that will bring the total amount of Gett black cabs in London to 11,500 or half of all the licensed taxis in the city.
“Our board unanimously supports the deal to become part of Gett. The future of the business as well as that of our drivers and clients is well served by becoming part of this exciting high tech brand, not least because of Gett’s world class mobile app,” said Geoffrey Riesel, chairman & CEO of Mountview House Group.
The acquisition, which is subject to shareholder approval, will make Gett the UK’s biggest black cab app, with more drivers in London and its 24 other UK cities than any other company.
In London the combination of Radio Taxis and Gett will give passengers access to more than 11,500 famous black cabs and their highly trained drivers, as well as Gett’s unique fixed fares which offer a discount on the meter price, confirmed before the journey begins.
The cash deal will see Gett – which currently has operations in the US, Russia and Israel as well as the UK – acquire all three brands within Radio Taxis’ parent company, Mountview House Group.
The Mountview House Group also operates Xeta, another black cab brand, as well as One Transport, the global transport solutions platform which provides corporate clients with access to vehicles in almost every country around the world.
“Radio Taxis has a long, proud history and we are delighted to bring such a great business into the Gett family,’ said Remo Gerber, managing director of Gett in Western Europe. “Alongside our cutting edge technology it is going to help to make Gett an even more powerful, global force for both our corporate customers and members of the public. This deal will help even more more customers get access to our fantastic fixed fares which are always better than the meter – with discounts of up to 30% on the fare they would otherwise pay.”
Gett, originally known as GetTaxi, was founded in 2011 by Israeli entrepreneurs Shahar Waiser, CEO, and Roi More, who developed a GPS-based application connecting customers and taxi drivers, enabling users to order a cab either via smartphone or the web. The app’s beta version started operating in Tel Aviv and was subsequently launched in London, Moscow and New York City.
Waiser is a serial entrepreneur, who founded and built companies in the US and internationally. In 2000, he became the head of Russian operations at Comverse [NASDAQ: CMVT]. After moving to Silicon Valley in 2005 he founded and then sold Loyalize, a social engagement and loyalty startup based in San Francisco (acquired by Viggle [VGGL]).
“When he was 16 years old, Shahar (Waiser) Smirin boarded a train from Russia to Hungary and asked for political asylum. His parents stayed behind, and when he arrived, he did not have a penny to his name. He did, however, have a clear goal: to get to Israel. Now, (25 years later) he is one of the brightest technological entrepreneurs Israel has had,” says Haaretz.
Gett offers fast and professional taxi cabs with the fixed fares option being up to 30% better than the meter for longer journeys. Fixed fares will be rolled out to more UK cities in 2016.
Available on iPhone and Android, Gett is the go-to app for instantly booking a black car, “and soon for getting what you need on-demand, whenever you need it,” says the company. “The same app that connects you to black cars will soon allow you to ‘Gett’ other things – from beauty and home services, to dry cleaning and food & drink – all with the same high quality service. We’re thrilled to be able to offer you even more products and services in just one tap, using the same Gett technology that has empowered riders to take 50 million journeys across the globe.”
Gett’s revenues grew by 300% in 2015 and are projected to reach $500 million (£350 million) globally in 2016. Its clients already include half of the Fortune 500 companies around the world and to date it has raised more than $200 million (£140 million) in funding.
Mountview House Group
The Group has a rich and varied history. It was originally formed in 1953 as Radio Taxicabs (Southern) Ltd. It was an independent driver co-operative of Licensed London Black Taxi Cabs and their taxi owner drivers.
The name Mountview hails as a historical nickname from the original 1953 taxi company telephone number Mountview 3232. When asked, taxi drivers would say that they were members of the “Mountview” circuit.
In 2004 the co-operative demutualized and diversified and became Radio Taxis Group Limited. It signed up to the City Code as a consequence of the exclusive share trading market arrangements where shares are traded quarterly online by auction.
Later in its history in 2005, Radio Taxis become the world’s first transport company to become CarbonNeutral. This was achieved by reducing the Group’s output of Carbon and then through a strict and certified audit, offsetting the remainder.
Soon after demutualization and for the first time in its history, the company acquired Xeta, a smaller niche radio taxi circuit.
In 2006/7 the One Transport platform was developed and its UK wide ground transport management system and network of 400 Private Hire, taxi, courier and bus companies was established.
The very first customer of One Transport was BBC transport and very quickly One Transport took over the management online of the entire BBC ground transport requirement for the whole of the UK. It was said that in its very first year of operation, One Transport saved the BBC over £1M.
In more recent history, One Transport won the annual BBC Procurement Award for the Best Supplier Relationship (2013/14).
One Transport was short listed at the Buying Business Travel awards, in both 2013 and in 2014 as a finalist for best Ground Transportation Company.
In 2014, Radio Taxis Group changed its name to Mountview House Group, however the three subsidiary businesses continue as before, for Radio Taxis, Xeta and One Transport its business as usual.