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Employees of Hailo might need to get a bigger boat. The mobile taxi-booking service, whose offices are located in a barge moored on the Thames River, announced it has received $17 million in Series A funding led by Accel Partners.
Hailo is a network that connects taxi passengers with taxi drivers using mobile devices. Would be passengers use an app on their iPhone or Andrdoid device to order a cab and cab drivers use Hailo's tools to find customers, get traffic information from other drivers and accept credit cards.
Launched to the public last November in London, the app has already been downloaded 200,000 times.
"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," Hailo CEO Jay Bregman said in a statement. "A Hailo cab is booked every minute of every day in London."
Now the company is looking to expand that network. Hailo said it will use its funding to launch first in Dublin and then cities around the world.
"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," Bregman said. "Hailo will bring the elite London cab experience to major US cities in 2012."
The company was founded by three actual London cab drivers along with three technology entrepreneurs. Seed funding came from Wellington Partners, an early investor in companies like Spotify and Atomico. Wellington participated in this round of funding as well.
Adam Valkin from Accel Partners will join the Hailo Board, as will Daniel Waterhouse from Wellington Partners. Sameer Gandhi from Accel and Chris Dar from Atomico Ventures will join the Hailo Board as observers.
"We believe that mobile will transform the personal transportation market and Hailo is well positioned to be a global player in this process," Valkin said in the announcement.
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