Further illustrating the growing momentum behind car-booking apps, automotive manufacturer Daimler acquired the maker of mytaxi, alongside the company behind the RideScout transport planning app.
Daimler, whose brands include Mercedes-Benz, has acquired the two companies through its Moovel mobility services subsidiary, which previously took a stake in mytaxi in 2012. Moovel already offers the car2go car sharing app.
Moovel plans to accelerate the international expansion of mytaxi and collaborate with Intelligent Apps on product development.
moovel CEO Robert Henrich said that the company is investing in “the development and growth of urban mobility in Germany, North America and other parts of the world”.
Mytaxi, which launched in 2009 claiming to be the first app to enable direct connections between taxi users and drivers, has more than 10 million users globally. The perhaps better-known Hailo was launched in 2011.
“With Moovel behind us, we are now an enormous step closer to the realisation of our vision of becoming the biggest and best taxi app – not only in Europe, but around the world,” said Niclaus Mewes, CEO at mytaxi.
RideScout’s transport planning app is available in 69 cities in North America. Joseph Kopser, the company’s CEO, said the partnership with Moovel “enables us to build a better product for our users and our customers, helping people make better transportation decisions in an emerging transportation marketplace”.
Sources told The Wall Street Journal that the two acquisitions are worth less than $100 million. The two companies will continue to operate independently of each other, according to Moovel.
Moovel said the two acquisitions “consolidates its presence in the international mobility market and accelerates its development on the way to becoming a global player”. Henrich added that the company is looking at booking and cashless payment for “all important transportation modes” in the future.
The news comes after Uber, one of the most prominent car booking apps, was hit by a court decision banning it from offering its UberPop car sharing service in Germany, owing to the fact that its drivers do not hold the necessary permits to transport passengers.
If the company goes against the ban, it could be fined up to €250,000 per trip, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Uber said it “will carefully review the content of the preliminary decision” and appeal this decision. It added that it will continue to offer its services via its app throughout Germany.
With a presence in more than 40 countries, Uber was recently valued at $18.2 billion after securing $1.2 billion in funding.
However, it has faced opposition from taxi drivers in a number of cities around the world who believe it enjoys an unfair advantage due to the lack of regulation around its service.