Business Technology

Wednesday 26 June 2019

Irish taxi tech firm iCabbi hits 500m bookings

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Stock image

Fearghal O'Connor

Irish taxi technology firm iCabbi this week registered a milestone 500 millionth booking in a growth story that has seen it become a significant market force in the sector worldwide.

iCabbi provides commercial taxi fleets with cloud-based dispatch technology in Ireland, UK, USA, Canada and Finland, along with customer and driver apps and intelligent voice assistants.

The company, with bases in Dublin, UK and Montreal, handles 750,000 bookings a day and said 37pc of its 500 million trips have been made in the past year.

Established in 2014, iCabbi now powers 40pc of the enterprise taxi market in the UK, and lists eight of the top 16 companies as clients.

Figures from the same period show UK competitor Autocab continues to see revenues decline and losses build. Losses at Autocab increased from £1.08m (€1.22m) in 2017 to £1.88m in 2018, while revenues fell from £8.9m to £8.4m.

"We have disrupted what was a lacklustre industry in the UK," said chief executive Gavan Walsh.

"We introduced a cloud-based system and brought a fairer solution into the market whereby you pay per vehicle, per month. 99pc of our customers are not on a contract, meaning we earn our renewals every month."

Walsh said that taxi companies were switching to his company’s software because of the way it had planned for the future of the taxi industry.

“With our current growth, we aim to double our bookings and break one billion bookings in the next two years,” he said.

75,000 vehicles now use iCabbi software, which enables traditional taxi companies to compete with new entrants into the market such as Lyft and Uber. In Ireland alone, it powers 80pc of the taxi market.

iCabbi has entered into a strategic partnership with Groupe Renault, which took a 75pc stake in June 2018.

A subsequent recruitment drive has seen 60 new hires since November, bringing the total headcount to 135 — 70 of which are involved in product R&D.

“The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi global alliance is the world’s leading electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing group and very much sees taxis as playing a key part in the future of mobility as a service,” said Walsh.

“Linking with a company like iCabbi allows Renault a fantastic opportunity to align the development of EVs with large fleets in major cities, creating green transport hubs.

“In the last 12 months, we have gathered a team of highly-talented individuals to ramp up our next phase of innovation, which aims to put taxi companies at the centre of mobility.

“We have opened a new development hub in Montreal, expanded our Dublin HQ by another floor and are about to launch the iCabbi Marketplace, which provides a space for open-source innovation for the industry.”

iCabbi  was founded in 2009 by Walsh, Bob Nixon and Niall O’Callaghan and is headquartered in Sutton, Co Dublin.

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