• Paul Fingleton

Irish firm iCabbi looks to take on Hailo and Uber with expansion in Ireland, the UK and the US

Taxi Dispatch technology company iCabbi aims to achieve €15M annual recurring revenue within two years as a result expansion in the UK and US. In 2012 and 2013, iCabbi received seed funding of €1 million and has grown almost 300% in the subsequent years.

The news comes following iCabbi’s recent announcement that it would be adding 20 jobs in 2016 to its Dublin headquarters in Howth this year. Positions are spread across research and development, customer service, sales and marketing, and technical support.

The company has a significant presence in Ireland, with more than 70% of private taxi companies with 50+ cars using its software.

Gavan Walsh, Founder and CEO, iCabbi, said: “We are expanding our presence and growing our team due to the incredible demand for our systems. With the support of Dublin BIC, AIB Seed Capital Fund, Enterprise Ireland and the Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN), we have set ambitious but pragmatic targets to become the largest technology provider to taxi companies in Ireland, the UK, and US.

“Dublin BIC and the AIB Seed Capital Fund have been the catalyst for our growth. Dublin BIC continues to provide significant strategic advice and access to networks, and have helped us transform our model from B2C (Business-to-Customer) to B2B (Business-to-Business), which has opened up many more possibilities for us.”

iCabbi has also established a strong presence in the UK with more than 50% of large taxi companies (500+ cars) using its software. To grow this presence further, it is also announcing the purchase of Disc (formerly Solution Telecom) in a deal worth €1.2 million, which has been developing telephony solutions in the for taxi industry since 2010.

The Dublin BIC-supported company has now set its sights on the US, its highest growth potential market. 17 companies with 2,000 cars are currently working with iCabbi, with 30 more companies covering 10,000 cars scheduled to go live this year. US revenues are expected to hit €3.6 million by the end of 2016.

iCabbi’s fully cloud-based end-to-end solution brings a taxi company’s operation into the 21st century. It connects drivers with passengers looking for a taxi, similar to Hailo and Uber, allowing taxi companies to compete with the online taxi or car sharing giants. The system includes a customer booking app, website booking engine, a ‘track my taxi’ feature, automated phone system and SMS text backup.

Richard Watson, Investment Manager, Dublin BIC added: “iCabbi is a great example of a disruptive Irish tech start-up company which has entered into a phase of accelerated international growth and is positioned for significant expansion over the months and years ahead. These are the companies that are driving Ireland’s economic growth and we are thrilled to support and to be a part of that. Taxi companies have historically been slow to adapt to technology, allowing companies like Hailo and Uber to take huge market share. iCabbi is enabling taxi companies to compete with these internet giants.”