ABOUT PHOTO: Tom Mazza (L) recently became a partner in Limocart.com, led by co-founders Mesut Darendeli and Emin Kahyaoglu. (Photo by Ron Rennells).
2011 INTERNATIONAL LCT SHOW: The industry consultant invests in Limocart.com, which provides Internet bookings nationwide for limousine and ground transportation, flights, hotels, and tours.
LAS VEGAS — Chauffeured transportation dealmaker Tom Mazza
cut an investment deal of his own recently, taking a 10% ownership stake in LIMOCART, an upstart online travel venture that he compares favorably to Expedia and Amazon.
Mazza disclosed the deal last week on the trade show floor of the 2011 International LCT Show where LIMOCART executives staffed a vendor booth during the three-day Show. Mazza holds the titles of vice president and partner of Limocart.com, and plans to devote about 10 hours per week to the venture.
Mazza’s primary focus remains TOM MAZZA CONSULTING, a Philadelphia-based industry firm that advises operators on running better operations and that facilitates sales, mergers, and financial partnerships of operators and companies in the chauffeured transportation industry.
The Limocart business model is basically a marketplace for service providers where their vehicles get booked by consumers similar to the way hotels get booked at Expedia.com.
The limousine/chauffeured portion of LIMOCART, headquartered in Teaneck, N.J., draws upon three chauffeured transportation vendors in each major city/market area affiliated with the site to provide transportation, said Mazza, who drew upon his vast industry rolodex to find companies and vet them based on quality standards. Each chauffeured transportation company pays a fee after a free 90-day introductory period to have its services available through Limocart.com.
As of Limocart’s Feb. 14 official launch, Mazza has signed up operators in 22 cities as partners in Limocart.com. In the Los Angeles region, for example, two of the chauffeured service providers are BEST CHAUFFEURED WORLDWIDE of Huntington Beach, Calif., operated by Robert Vaughan, and EXCLUSIVE SEDAN SERVICE of Los Angeles, owned by the father-son team of Ron and Brandan Stein.
The site enables customers to get pricing, book rides, and get instant confirmations all in real time. They also may book buses, taxis, hotels, flights, and/or tours. When book chauffeured rides, users choose the vehicles, locations, and rates, Mazza said.
LIMOCART was founded in 2009 and developed by Mesut Darendeli, also the president and CEO of RHXO TECHNOLOGY GROUP of Edgewater, N.J., and Emin Kahyaoglu, also the president of KISMET EXECUTIVE LIMOUSINE SERVICE in Teaneck, N.J. The founders developed their exclusive software technology in New York over the last three years, using a team of 11 engineers.
The owners and investors plan to build up Limocart during the next five years and eventually make it attractive for a possible sale to a larger online travel booking site or venture, Mazza said.
Darendeli explained more details and features of Limocart.com in a recent e-mail to LCT Magazine:
• Provide direct access to ground transportation companies and services through the U.S. and Canada.
• Offer localized versions throughout Europe and other parts of the world that will be launched soon.
• Provide travelers with the ability to research, plan, and book their ground transportation needs.
• Offer vehicles such as car service, limo, taxi, SUV, shuttles, minivan, minibus, bus, wheelchair accessible vehicles, antique limos, and other vehicles.
• Provide consumers with package delivery services from the service providers in the network.
• The booking engine provides access to the vehicles of a selected group of service providers where these vehicles can be booked directly.
• Real-time instant pricing avoids back and forth between consumer and service provider. Vehicles can be booked from the website at Limocart.com by consumers using their credit cards.
• Limocart provides consumers with the ability to book and manage all forms of ground travel, from car services and shuttles to SUV's and limousines from one central place.
• The easy reservation engine provides a tool for consumers to find and book their reservations online without calling or emailing service providers.
• Limocart provides shopping tools such as multiple booking, discount coupons, daily localized deals, online booking history, trip planning and many others for consumers.
• The name Limocart was derived from the little button on every online shopping site that says “Add To Cart.” It represents the real-time shopping on the internet.
• Since Limocart.com provides real-time booking, it is developing mobile applications for consumers to make the booking on-the-go. The applications for multiple platforms such as iOS for iPhone/iPad and Android OS for Android phones will be launched soon.
• Reservations are managed by Limocart's 100% secure built-in reservation software It provides Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution for service providers which is deployed over the Internet without any hardware or software requirement on service providers' side and can be accessed anywhere in the world.
• The software is free of charge to service providers once they sign up. Limocart.com soon will integrate with commonly used reservation management software to activate a push technology.
• Some of the main functions of the software include: vehicle management; driver management; service area management; instant pricing management integrated complete billing & reports; GPS tracking tool; integrated flight information; website integration; deal and coupon management; driver management; platform-free integrations with web services; mobile booking support; payment gateway support; push technology; payment gateway support affiliation tools.
1) Customer goes to the website at www.limocart.com
2) Customer searches service providers' available vehicles with his/her reservation details.
3) After the search the customer sees the available vehicles from different service providers in the specified area.
4) Choose the service provider's vehicle and book it with his/her credit card.
5) Service provider receives the reservation through Limocart's state-of-the-art reservation software.
— Martin Romjue, LCT editor