Europe’s biggest carmaker, Volkswagen AG (ETR: VOW3) of Germany, said it has made a $300 million strategic investment in Gett (formerly GetTaxi), a global Israeli ride hailing provider.

Gett is an on-demand mobility company, changing how people move around and Gett things. A leading provider in Europe, Gett is available in more than 60 cities worldwide, including London, Moscow, and NYC.

Gett’s technology enables consumers to instantly book on-demand transportation, delivery and logistics. Gett offers the only full on-demand business mobility solution, Gett for Business, trusted by over 4,000 leading corporations worldwide. Gett has raised over $520 million in venture funding. Gett’s revenues grew by 300% in 2015 and are projected to reach $500 million globally in 2016. Its clients already include half of the Fortune 500 companies around the world.

Two months ago, Gett launched a bid to acquire London’s 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.

“Alongside our pioneering role in the automotive business, we aim to become a world leading mobility provider by 2025,” says Matthias Müller, chairman of the board of management of Volkswagen. “Within the framework of our future Strategy 2025, the partnership with Gett marks the first milestone for the Volkswagen Group on the road to providing integrated mobility solutions that spotlight our customers and their mobility needs.”

“Just one month after announcing plans to launch a legally independent company for the development of mobility services, the Volkswagen Group is resolutely driving forward the future of mobility,” VW said in a statement.

“The Volkswagen Group opens the way for new mobility concepts with a significant $300 million stake in Gett. On the map with over 60 cities worldwide, Gett is one of the fastest growing ride hailing providers in the mobility-on-demand area. Based on a joint strategy, according on-demand mobility services will be further expanded,” VW stated further.

Innovative, digitally integrated services covering all aspects of mobility promise very strong growth momentum and huge earnings opportunities in the coming years. The ride-hailing market represents the greatest market potential in on-demand mobility, while creating the technological platform for developing tomorrow’s mobility business models.

“The Volkswagen Group’s expressed goal is to generate a substantial share of sales revenue from such new business models by 2025. To this end, the Group is opening for new partnerships and strategic investments,” says VW. “A key partner in this area will be Gett, one of the leading providers in the European ride hailing market with development facilities in Israel.”

Gett is available in more than 60 cities worldwide, including London, Moscow and NYC. In London alone, half of all the black cabs use Gett. Uniquely, Gett’s convenient and at the same time highly efficient mobility solution is equally successful with consumers and businesses. It is already trusted by more than 4,000 leading corporations worldwide. The business model is based exclusively on licensed drivers who have a permit to carry passengers and are committed to providing safe, reliable mobility.

“The Volkswagen Group and Gett is a great strategic partnership. The pay-per-ride domain is growing rapidly. In that context, Gett provides VW with the technology to expand beyond car ownership to on-demand mobility for consumers and businesses,” said Shahar Waiser, Gett’s founder and CEO.

Through the Gett app consumers can, at the touch of a button, book on-demand rides instantly or pre-book rides for later. Besides transportation, Gett covers innovative delivery and logistics. Gett’s technology leverages big data, cutting-edge predictive algorithms, and artificial intelligence. “It therefore serves as the foundation for a viable on-demand autonomous car operation,” says VW.

With the support of the Volkswagen Group, one of the world’s largest carmakers, Gett will further strengthen its position in the market. Based on a strategic alliance agreement, the partnership’s joint growth strategy is focused on collaborative development and market expansion of on-demand mobility services in Europe and beyond.

Completion of this transaction is ssubject to merger control clearance by antitrust authorities.

Matthias Müller and Shahar Waiser are expected to announce further details of the strategic partnership in a joint event scheduled for the coming week, said VW.

Gett 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.

Shahar Waiser, CEO & Co-Founder of Gett

Shahar Waiser, CEO & Co-Founder of Gett.

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.”

Haaretz

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