Taxi app Karhoo is ceasing to trade after only half a year of battling Uber’s domination. The taxi aggregator site has failed to secure additional investment that was required to save it from administration.Only a short while ago Karhoo announced that it had a larger fleet at its disposal than Uber. The foundations of its bold claim to be London’s leading taxi app now looks to have been built on sand. Staff have been laid off and the app is no longer accepting bookings. No statement has been made by an administrator but assets could yet be acquired up by a competitor. Karhoo launched to great a fanfare in London at the beginning of May and subsequently three other major cities across the UK. The start-up firm also had offices in New York, Singapore and Tel Aviv. In October Karhoo revealed it was handling up to 7,000 bookings each day, had 33,000 cars in London, 110,000 across the UK and its app had been downloaded over 140,000 times. However reviews and ratings of the app on the Google Play store highlighted that users had experienced several technical issues with its functionality. Ryan Georgiades Managing Director of Plan offers the following insight,
Their model to work with pre-existing fleet operators made a great deal of sense and offering passengers both price and arrival time comparisons proved popular. The ability to choose between black cabs, standard private hire or chauffeur vehicles was also great from a users’ point of view. Yet it appears the company spread itself too thin in an attempt to gain market share before establishing a solid base upon which to build. In short it tried to run before it could walk.
|Statement on karhoo.com November 2016|
By the time the new management team took control last week, it was clear that the financial situation was pretty dire, and Karhoo was not able to find a backer.Many of London’s operators were invigorated by founder Daniel Ishag rallying cry that Karhoo would take on the might of Uber. He promised to “level” the playing field for its partners” and give “Davids the power and platform to take on Goliath.” Unfortunately on this occasion David has been K.O.’d and how the little guys will attempt to take on their gigantic American rival from here is unknown. Read more: Under Inspection: The Mayor’s Plans for Private Hire Operator Insurance Read more: What the Uber tribunal ruling means for the taxi industry