Auto giant Volkswagen has announced a $300 million investment into Israeli ride-hailing startup Gett (formerly Get Taxi). The strategic investment comes on the heels of Toyota’s announcement of an undisclosed sum in US ride-hailing app, Uber.
In January, General Motors injected $500 million into Lyft, another US ride-hailing app.
VW wants “to go beyond vehicle ownership,” Gett founder and CEO Shahar Waiser told Business Insider.
In fact, the three carmakers’ investments seem to show they are focusing on new technology and the future of personal transport.
Waiser said that Gett’s big data and predictive algorithm technologies could help VW in the development of self-driving vehicles.
“The Volkswagen Group and Gett is a great strategic partnership. The pay-per-ride domain is growing rapidly. In that context, Gett provides VW with the technology to expand beyond car ownership to on-demand mobility for consumers and businesses,” says Waiser.
The ride-hailing market represents the greatest market potential in on-demand mobility, while creating the technological platform for developing tomorrow’s mobility business models, the Volkswagen Group said in a statement.
VW says its goal is to generate a substantial share of sales revenue from such new business models by 2025.
“Alongside our pioneering role in the automotive business, we aim to become a world leading mobility provider by 2025,” says Matthias Müller, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft. “Within the framework of our future Strategy 2025, the partnership with Gett marks the first milestone for the Volkswagen Group on the road to providing integrated mobility solutions that spotlight our customers and their mobility needs.”
And though reports of a decline in tech investments have swirled in the first quarter, this latest investment round seems to paint a different picture.
At the end of 2015, ISRAEL21c asked experts in six different fields what the hottest new trends will be in the year ahead. It seems Jonathan Medved, CEO of OurCrowd, venture capital-crowdfunding hybrid platform for investing in Israeli startups, was on the money when he said “2016 will be the year that when you thought it couldn’t get better it got a lot better.”
Gett launched as Get Taxi in Israel in 2010. With VW’s investment, the company has raised $520 million.
Gett currently operates in 60 European cities as well as New York City. The new funding will help speed up expansion.
In March, Gett acquired Radio Taxis, the British black cab company in an all cash deal worth “several million pounds.” The Israeli company now has a fleet of 11,500 London licensed taxicabs, almost 50 percent of the black cabs in the city.