The competition between auto startups is heating up, with speculation that Google (GOOGL), which invests in Uber, might be working on a ride-sharing app of its own. But one competitor has already been making headway internationally, GetTaxi, now known as Gett in the U.S.
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Gett CEO Shahar Waiser spoke with FOXBusiness.com about how the the Israeli company plans to expand in America. Gett, which has raised $200 million in funding, claims to be Uber’s biggest global competitor in terms of revenue, already having a stronghold on the market in the U.K. and Russia.
Surprisingly, despite countless car service apps, including Lyft and Sidecar, Waiser believes the U.S. market is “not competitive enough.” Focused on New York, Waiser sees an opportunity to take a larger portion of the taxi market share.
Unlike Uber, which has a controversial “surge pricing” practice, Gett introduced a $10 flat fee for rides in Manhattan last year. The response was overwhelming, and Gett initially had trouble finding enough drivers to meet the demand.
To compete, Gett raised the compensation for its drivers, with Waiser claiming they “pay almost double what Uber is paying.” Despite the higher costs, the company claims it is still profitable.
“Gett is expecting to hit half a billion in revenue by December of this year,” Waiser said. When asked about industry consolidation or Gett’s IPO prospects, Waiser deferred. He said they have been “ focusing on the fundamentals: revenues, gross profit and service quality.”
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One key difference between Gett and Uber is that the former has focused its core efforts on corporate clients. Waiser said half of the Fortune 500 companies use Gett in some capacity, partly because of its large presence in England.
Uber, which is the nation’s most valuable startup, has raised capital at over a $40 billion valuation. Waiser does not think they are overvalued, however.
“We are growing by 300%. Uber must be demonstrating even better numbers to justify that valuation," Waiser said, adding that Uber and Gett are “still early” on their road to success.
Despite Waiser’s optimism, not all car startups have fared well in the U.S. market. UK-based Hailo, recently ended its North American operations and remains focused on its home turf.
Just don’t expect Gett to give up yet.