Israeli Taxi App Hails $25m Investment From Swedish VC

GetTaxi says it's on target to amass $150 million in its latest private fundraising round; Competitor of Uber, Lyft and Halio expects eventual valuation of $2 billion.

Maria Proteskin

GetTaxi has announced it is on target to amass $150 million in its latest private fundraising round, and officials at the company say they already have commitments for the full sum.

Wednesday morning, Swedish investment fund manager Vostok Nafta announced it was investing $25 million in Get Taxi as part of this round.

The money will be used to enable the company to start a service in New York for corporate customers, it stated. That product is scheduled to launch in two months. It also intends to focus expansion efforts on London and other major European cities, the company stated Wednesday.

GetTaxi, founded in Israel in 2010, enables users to order taxis via their smartphones.

“Although competition is ripe everywhere, we think a conservative scenario is that Get Taxi becomes the leading player in Russia and Israel,” Vostok Nafta said in a statement, Bloomberg reported. The fund manager added that GetTaxi could have a valuation of more than $2 billion within a few years.

Tal Brenner, GetTaxi’s chief financial officer, said the latest round included both returning and new investors. The full sum will be going into the company’s kitty, and won’t be used to buy holdings back from current shareholders.

“We’re very pleased with the company’s valuation and growth,” said Brenner.

The company is also considering using some of the money to expand via acquisitions, he added.

According to GetTaxi’s data, its revenue run rate is $150 million, while its annual growth rate hit 400 percent. The company expects to continue growing at this pace, said Brenner. Most of GetTaxi’s revenues are from its operations in Israel and in Russia.

The company expects to have its books balanced by the beginning of 2015.

GetTaxi currently operates in 24 cities worldwide, including London, New York, Moscow and St. Petersburg, and has 1,500 corporate customers. The company is reportedly running a profit in 22 of the 24 cities in which it operates.

Some 10,000 taxi drivers around the world work regularly with GetTaxi. About 35% of these drivers are in Israel. According to data released by GetTaxi in January, some 3,200 of Israel’s 19,200 taxis were working with that company.

GetTaxi’s main rivals are Uber Technologies, Lyft and Halio. Uber raised $1.2 billion in June, at a corporate valuation of $18 billion – the highest valuation ever given to a privately held company during the fundraising stage. Uber is planning to expand into Israel soon.

GetTaxi has around 220 employees, including 100 in Israel.