Taxi app Lynk to get €25m in backing for UK launch
Lynk, Ireland's answer to the Hailo taxi app, is set to make a massive push into the UK market with €25m in private funding as early as next year.
The app, which was developed by taxi fleet management company Global Taxis, employs more than 170 people at its Dublin base.
It has seen phenomenal growth since its February launch and recently merged with Dublin's third largest taxi firm, Blue Cabs, to add 200 new drivers. Lynk now has around 2,800 drivers signed to its fleet.
The app allows bookings in advance of journeys and customers can also make multiple bookings at the same time.
Founder Noel Ebbs, pictured, said the company aims to have 5,000 drivers signed up by the end of the year. He said the company aims to be nationwide by the end of the year and will then focus on expanding abroad.
"We started up with €2.5m of seed capital which came primarily from the host company, which is Global, and private investors. That is enough to take us through Ireland [but] moving abroad we will need more."
When asked where the money would be sourced, he said: "Private funding. I reckon we would need at least 10 times what we had [for Ireland] for the UK."
He added: "By the end of this year we'll be moving into the UK. If we meet targets here, which by all accounts we seem to be well ahead of, we have undertakings that funding will be there."
He said that the backers would be based mostly in Ireland or the UK.
Unlike Hailo, which takes a percentage of every cab fare, Lynk currently makes the majority of its revenue from membership fees paid by drivers who sign up to the service.
The fees are currently in the region of €70 per week, although drivers can reduce this by measures such as signing up a friend to the service.
The company is expecting to hit a turnover of €10m by the end of its financial year, which will be next March. Mr Ebbs said the company is currently on target to achieve that aim.
He admitted that he does not expect the UK expansion to be as rapid as the Irish one, saying that he would be "very happy if we were turning over €25m by the end of the first year".