Hailo hopes to increase headcount in Ireland

Cab-hailing company agrees all-share merger with Daimler subsidiary MyTaxi

Hailo has said it hopes to increase employee numbers in Ireland and to roll out additional services to users here following its all-share merger with Daimler's My Taxi.

The company, whose app has changed the way consumers hire taxis, said the merger will create Europe’s largest e-hailing company with 100,000 drivers in over 50 cities in nine countries.

Hailo is to rebrand as MyTaxi under the deal with its chief executive Andrew Pinnington taking over the same role in the combined entity.

Under the agreement, which is subject to regulatory approval, Daimler, the makers of Mercedes-Benz, will own 60 per cent of the new group with Hailo shareholders owning the other 40 per cent stake.


Hailo launched in Ireland in April 2012. It also operates in Spain as well as Britain. MyTaxi, which ws acquired by Daimler in September 2014, is available in Austria, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

“Nothing will change in the short-term and Hailo will continue to operate as it always does. Over time,we will be rebranding to MyTaxi in Ireland but this will be done in a slow and careful way given the strength of the brand in the Irish market,” Mr Pinnington told The Irish Times.

Best of both

“By combining the two businesses we get the best of both in terms of the product suites that exist within both companies’ apps. As the merger proceeds, MyTaxi features will increasingly become available to Irish users. In addition, Hailo users will obviously be able to use the app in more markets than they can today,” he added.

The merger comes at a time of consolidation in the sector with many other traditional carmakers acquiring transportation app-related companies. In May, Volkswagen took a $300 million stake in the Israeli ride-sharing service Gett, which operates across 60 cities. That same month, General Motors invested $500 million in Lyft.

“A lot of car manufacturers are interested in this space and I think that’s all to do with the future of urban mobility. Nobody is quite sure where that will end up or how it will evolve but all of them understand that there is a process of moving towards on-demand transportation and away from necessarily owning your own vehicle and clearly they need to have a stake in that,” said Mr Pinnington.

Mr Pinnington said Hailo and MyTaxi had begun discussions on a possible merger late last year.

“It became clear as we began discussions about raising finance that regional winners were emerging in the e-hailing space and that was where the money was going. Obviously, there’s Uber on a global scale, in China there is Didi, in South East Asia there’s GrabTaxi and in US, it’s Lyft. Both MyTaxi and Hailo had the same goal of becoming the number one European service and so by putting them together then overnight we create the clear leader here.

In Ireland, Hailo has over 10,000 registered drivers and it carries up to 45,000 passengers per day with almost 15 million journeys completed over the last four years.

Hailo has received close to $100 million over the years in funding with investors that include Accel, Union Square Ventures, Atomico, Wellingon Parterners and Sir Richard Branson. However, while it has enjoyed huge success in markets including Ireland, the company has struggled in recent year, pulling out of the North American market in late 2014 after saying it was "impossible" to become profitable due to the battle between Uber and Lyft.

Hailo’s parent, Hailo Network Holdings Limited, made a £21.8 million loss in 2014, the most recent year for which accounts are available, with £11.8 million of that loss linked to the company’s North American business.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist