In an industry already disrupted by smart tech and mobile-first customers, the latest disruptor is Hailo. Calling itself “the world's favorite e-hail app” and a “constructive disruptor,” Hailo competes with Uber, Lyft and GetTaxi apps but with the distinction of letting customers flag and pay for regular taxi rides by using the Hailo app.
Using Apple’s iBeacon technology, the Hailo app recognizes when passengers in Hailo-driven vehicles and invites them to connect and pay for their ride via a simple one-click confirmation. (Out of iBeacon reach, passengers can select a driver from a list and connect and pay that way.) The company also just released a public API, enabling third-party developers access to Hailo’s network of drivers.
Founded by three London taxi drivers and three internet entrepreneurs, Hailo has $29 million in its coffers from a recent funding round and has raised about $100 million to date from investors including Union Square Ventures, Accel Partners, Wellington Partners, Atomico Ventures and Sir Richard Branson.
Since launching in the UK in November 2011, it's now available in more than 20 cities, including London, New York, TChicago, Boston, Washington, Atlanta, Montreal, Toronto, Madrid, Barcelona and Osaka.
As it expands in North America, Hailo recently halved its prices in Washington and launched a guerilla marketing campaign to thank customers in New York, Chicago and Toronto called Hailo High-Five, in which street teams were dispatched to high-five hailers and hand out phones preloaded with a month's worth of free all-you-can-Hailo.
brandchannel chatted with Hailo's new global chief marketing officer Gary Bramall, who previously worked as senior global brand experience director for Microsoft, about the challenges and opportunities facing the brand. Continue reading...