The product saves fleet operations time and improves communication and accuracy when managing drivers.
This is the phrase you’ll be greeted with when you arrive at the homepage of Karhoo, a vendor-neutral ride-booking app that enables users to compare taxi and private-hire car services from multiple companies.
The idea for Karhoo came about when founder Daniel Ishag was abroad with a group of friends and had a bad experience booking a local cab.
When his vehicle didn’t show up three or four times within the same evening, he knew he had to create a platform that would allow passengers to easily select and book local cabs, anywhere in the world.
Location: New York
Service: vendor-neutral ride-booking app
Owner: Daniel Ishag
Contact: (917) 773-7000
How It Works
Ride apps face formidable competition from mega for-hire services such as Uber and Lyft, so what makes Karhoo any different? Besides the fact that you can filter and choose rides by ETA, vehicle type, and brand, you’ll also be able to compare the price ranges of multiple companies at once.
Not only that, but the company works with already established licensed taxi operators instead of individual drivers. This allows them to add thousands of drivers at once instead of hiring a random driver for you to share a ride with.
“We’re not competing with any one company,” says Tarek Mallah, the Karhoo Group senior vice president of operations. “We partner up with established, licensed fleets. Karhoo can integrate with hundreds or thousands of vehicles in one go through our technology. It allows us to have much quicker network growth than any other app based on a driver by driver model.”
The company hopes to level the playing field and make taxi and limo companies relevant again. “They are the professionals that will rise to the top,” Mallah says. “If Karhoo can be an asset to saving these companies, I think it is for the best of the transportation ecosystem worldwide.”
From meter taxi to sedan services, black car companies to luxury service providers, and even hybrid options, Karhoo supports the consumer’s desire to choose. Part of this is allowing app users to pre-book or make multiple reservations. They aren’t just booking a way to get from A to B, but also a way to get to C and D as well.
“It’s all about choices and options,” Mallah says. “We do not and will not have a driver app. We want to guarantee the legitimacy of the service provider. We are here to support and be a champion for the incumbents. We are not taking drivers away.”
Although it won’t be hitting the Apple App or Google Play store until early in the New Year, Karhoo is already generating buzz. Headquartered in New York, the app will also debut in London and Singapore. It is expected to become a global app, with expansion planned for the rest of the U.S., Europe, and the Far East.
For-hire vehicle companies already are lining up to take part in the endeavor. Companies partnering with Karhoo include: New York car and limousine services Dial 7 and Carmel; UK minicab companies Comcab and Addison Lee; and Singapore’s largest cab company, ComfortDelGro, which has more than 17,000 licensed taxis.
The exact number of vehicles that will be hitting the road changes daily. The company is getting strong interest from fleets around the world. Within 10 months, its global network exceeded 250,000 vehicles.
In addition, the company already has raised $250 million and has plans to procure another $1billion next year. Current investors include former CEO of Sony Music Entertainment Nick Gatfield and cofounder of Indus Capital Partners, David Kowitz. Former CEO of Lloyds Banking Group, Eric Daniels, is a director.
“Hang around and listen to the news,” Mallah says. “Although we are a start-up, we have the DNA for success with marketing and the industry behind us. We have an exceptional, unique concept.”
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