Cabbies launch service to hail a cab with two taps of smartphone

 

Three cabbies turned start-up entrepreneurs, backed by a founder of Skype, will tomorrow realise their vision of making hailing a black cab in London as simple as two taps of a smartphone.

Hailo officially launches tomorrow after months of testing, allowing customers to use their iPhone or Android smartphones to call nearby licensed taxis without standing in the street for hours with their arms out.

There are 23,000 black cab drivers in London and so far 2,000 have signed up to the service. It is designed, according to the founders, to "bring the cab into the 21st century". The app will be available to Apple and Android customers, free of charge, from tomorrow.

Hailo was born out of a meeting between taxi drivers Russell Hall, Gary Jackson and Terry Runham, and internet entrepreneurs Ron Zeghibe, Caspar Woolley and Jay Bregman in a café off London's Tottenham Court Road.

The drivers' previous venture, internet-based cab business Taxilight, was running out of "steam, money and time" according to Mr Hall. Instead they developed the concept of Hailo.

He said: "We realised there was a real opportunity to bring a fresh technology platform to a business that is hundreds of years old."

Mr Hall said a customer's smartphone will locate their position by GPS. When they order a cab, the location will be available to the drivers and those nearby can accept the fare. The customer will know how far away the cab is, what the driver's name and registration is, and can also pay by credit or debit card.

Hailo is backed by Atomico Ventures, the investment vehicle of Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom, and venture capital group Wellington Partners, one of music streaming service Spotify's original backers.

It currently has a team of 20 software engineers, including some who have worked at the Ministry of Defence and Google. It has completed both its driver and passenger trials and goes live tomorrow.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Retirement Coordinator - Financial Services

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...

Recruitment Genius: Annuities / Pensions Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...

Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Officer - Altrincham - up to £24,000.

£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...

Ashdown Group: Learning and Development Programme Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Day In a Page

The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing
The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower