HAILO raises $30 million, picks up former Head of Coffee Biz at Starbucks to Perk Up Urban Travel

Feb 05, 2013, 02:00 ET from Hailo Network Canada

Top NYC Venture Capitalist and Twitter-Backer Union Square Ventures leads investment; Hailo now the largest and best-capitalized taxi app network in the world with over $50M raised. 

Starbucks VP joins to Turbocharge NYC launch and Lead US; Former Head of LVMH to Win Japan and Asia, Outdoor Advertising Maven and HAILO first-round Angel Investor to spread Dublin success across EMEA. 

First stops for 2013 include NYC, Tokyo; "HAILO puts ten thousand taxis in your pocket. Games and music made smartphones fun. Maps made them useful. HAILO will make them indispensable. Get ready to take back control of your life," NYC-based CEO and Founder Jay Bregman states.

TORONTO, Feb. 5, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, Hailo laid out its plans to expand its market-leading taxi app network across the globe. With the addition of Tom Barr, former Starbucks Head of Coffee Business as its new President and COO USA and a $30.6 million investment led by mobile and network gurus Union Square Ventures, Hailo's vision to be on home screens everywhere is now closer than ever. 

"Hailo is mobilizing a massive, global shift in consumer behavior from hail to e-hail which will substantially improve the control passengers and taxi drivers have in their lives," says Jay Bregman, Hailo CEO and Co-Founder and native New Yorker. "In just over a year, we have operations in ten cities across six countries and sales in excess of $100M. We now have the senior team, resources, and the investment and corporate partners to deliver our vision of bringing Hailo to NYC, Tokyo, and every street corner in every major city in the world. We have shifted into overdrive." 

Union Square Ventures has a reputation and track record of spotting networks with global potential, as the first institutional investors in Twitter, Foursquare and Tumblr. USV Opportunity Fund Partner John Buttrick said "We first met the Hailo team at the end of 2011, just after they launched in London. The company did a superb job in this market and are now the dominant e-hail application in London by a wide margin. We believe the Hailo platform will develop into a global network and will significantly improve transportation experiences in cities around the world. We are thrilled to lead this round of financing as Hailo expands into the United States - including our hometown of New York City - Asia and continental Europe."  Mr. Buttrick joins the Hailo Board. 

Superstar entrepreneur and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and top Japanese telco KDDI also invested in the latest financing. KDDI signed an exclusive partnership leveraging its 35 million subscribers and extensive relationships to support launches in Asia, starting with Tokyo. Tokyo has 40,000 taxis and the Japanese taxi market is estimated at $25B, making this an extremely important growth area for Hailo. 

Hailo is coming to NYC this quarter and has reinforced its US team with a heavyweight former Starbucks Executive. Over 12 years, Tom played a core role in growing the Starbucks business from 2,500 to over 16,000 stores and creating a wealth of new products and services across their network. Tom's mission is to make HAILO a brand name across the United States and to leverage his expertise improving the experience of morning coffee to the morning commute. 

Kiyotaka Fujii is President, Japan and Asia Pacific and has also joined Hailo's Board of Directors. Fujii is an expert at bringing western brands to Asia. Educated at the University of Tokyo and Harvard Business School, he was McKinsey's first employee in Tokyo. He went on to bring business software giant SAP to Japan to market leadership. He was personally recruited by the founder to lead LVMH in Japan where he catalyzed a renaissance of luxury brands in Japan. He recently joined the Board of Olympus. 

Colm O'Cuilleanain is President of EMEA. O'Cuilleanain launched Hailo in Dublin, making it the number one taxi service in the city in just three months, with uncontrollable growth and brand recognition. He is now taking Hailo to Spain, beginning with Madrid and Barcelona. Additional European capitals will follow. 

Hailo is the evolution of the hail - its free smartphone app ensures you are always just two taps and two minutes away from a taxi, and helps cabbies get more passengers when they need them. 

Quick facts about HAILO: 

  • A HAILO hail is accepted every five seconds around the world.
  • HAILO cabs have carried over 2.5M passengers.
  • HAILO is the world's largest e-hailing network with hundreds of thousands of passengers and tens of thousands of drivers registered.
  • HAILO has a global workforce of nearly 200, with a significant engineering team led by the former COO of Shazam.
  • Right now in Manhattan you are always less than five minutes away from a HAILO taxi. HAILO has thousands of drivers in NYC using its driver-only network and is currently awaiting a response to its recently submitted E-Hail application from the Taxi and Limousine Commission to begin servicing passengers.
  • HAILO is live to passengers in Chicago, Boston, Toronto, Dublin, and London

Notes to editors
Hailo's $30.6M Series B investment was led by USV and included participation from Sir Richard Branson, Phenomen Ventures (a Moscow-based fund on track to be the next DST), Felicis Ventures, Red Swan Ventures, as well as existing investors Accel Partners, Wellington Partners, and Skype Founder Niklas Zennström's Atomico Ventures. This brings Hailo's total capital raised to date to $50.6M

Tom Barr, President and Chief Operating Officer, USA
Tom Barr possesses extensive operational expertise, having served senior roles at some of the world's most prestigious companies such as Starbucks Coffee Company and GlaxoSmithKline.  His career is marked by continuously leading organizations through major change; where creation of a new strategic vision and resourceful relentlessness are the key success criteria. Barr worked at Starbucks for more than 10 years, seeing the company through massive growth. Most recently, he served as Vice President, Global Coffee. His accomplishments include scaling the lunch and hot food business across North America and aggressively growing the Coffee business through the introduction of Blonde Roast coffee. This level of experience will be invaluable as Hailo takes on a host of U.S. cities, leading with New York.  Barr received his MBA from Vanderbilt University where he serves on the Alumni Board of Directors and he also serves on the Board of Directors of Cracker Barrel, Old Country Store. 

Colm O'Cuilleanain, President, EMEA
Colm O'Cuilleanain launched Hailo Dublin and made it the number one taxi service in the city its first three months of operations. He now extends his remit to become President, EMEA. His first priority in his new role is to introduce the service to Spain, beginning with Madrid and Barcelona. Colm brings a wealth of international leadership and entrepreneurial experience gained across the media and tech sectors - including senior executive roles at Maiden Outdoor Advertising, Avenir SA, Mills & Allen and founding numerous technology start-ups including Netsure Telecom and Visible Thread. Colm was an Angel investor in HAILO's first round of financing in 2011. 

Kiyotaka Fujii, President, Japan and Asia Pacific
Kiyotaka Fujii has been appointed President, Japan and Asia Pacific and has joined the Hailo Board. With over 30 years in international business, his experience has ranged from investment banking, information technology, and consumer products to the electric vehicle industry. Fujii has held Japan President and CEO positions with top global companies since 1997, including Better Place Japan, Louis Vuitton Japan, SAP Japan and Cadence Design Systems Japan. Fujii expanded SAP's business three-fold, led Louis Vuitton as the leading luxury brand and showcased the world's first electric vehicle taxi project with the Japanese government as president of Better Place Japan. He is currently a non-executive director of Olympus, having been brought in to re-build the business. Fujii received his MBA from the Harvard Business School in 1986 and his B. Law from the University of Tokyo in 1981. 

For more information about Hailo visit: http://hailocab.com or @HAILO 

To download the app, visit the Apple App Store or Google Play store and search on "hailo".

SOURCE Hailo Network Canada