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Business

Taxi app wars heat up

The imminent launch of taxi booking application Ingogo has received a massive financial boost having secured first round investment funding from a collection of high-profile technology, banking and angel investors, including a Google staffer and MYOB co-founder.
Written by Mahesh Sharma, Correspondent on

The imminent launch of taxi booking application Ingogo has received a massive financial boost having secured first round investment funding from a collection of high-profile technology, banking and angel investors, including a Google staffer and MYOB co-founder.

The smartphone application allows passengers to directly book a taxi and see its location in real time. Since July, Ingogo has conducted a trial with over 200 drivers. This number is expected to grow to 500 when the full version goes live in October. Over 40,000 people have visited the Ingogo website since July.

The value of the investment funding was not disclosed, but Ingogo founder Hamish Petrie has secured an impressive pedigree of business talent:

  • Brad Shofer, co-founder, MYOB
  • Will Easton, currently director of Mobile Sales & Operations — APAC, Google
  • Philip Argy, member of Sydney Angels and CEO, ArgyStar.com
  • Nick McNaughton, deputy chairman, Capital Angels
  • Stuart Fox, member of Sydney Angels, and former managing director, head of commodities, of Asia UBS

The market to use a smartphone application to book taxis is still in its infancy, but the competition is rapidly heating up as a string of players vie for an unassailable first-mover advantage.

Another player, goCatch, is ramping up development and marketing after it took out a $50,000 prize at the recent Tech23 awards. It is also seeking investment.

Google's Easton has backed Ingogo (as a private investor) because he is excited about the potential of the business model.

"Ingogo is utilising the explosion of smartphone devices and the associated ground-breaking technologies to enable Australian consumers to request taxis in a quicker, easier and more interactive way than ever before," Easton said.

Petrie said the company will not only benefit from the funding injection, but also from the business knowledge of the investors.

"The investor team brings an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience needed to build and grow successful technology businesses.

"With backing from investors of this calibre, we believe Ingogo will be the leader in the digital taxi request space."

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