Taxis have been taking a beating over the past few years, thanks to the popularity of on-demand ride services like Uber and Lyft, writes Venturebeat. Sensing an opportunity, Flywheel, which was at one point called Cabulous, set out to modernize this legacy transit option. After seven years, the company has been acquired by competitor Cabconnect to craft a more robust taxi-centric software platform. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“We are excited for Cabconnect to continue the expansion of Flywheel’s Taxi app,” said Flywheel president Oneal Bhambani in a statement. “Leveraging our long history in the taxi industry and extensive customer base, coupled with Cabconnect’s existing driver solutions, will continue to innovate the taxi industry.”
While ride-hailing technology makes it possible for anyone to pick up passengers through a smartphone, the taxi industry has long derided the practice, claiming that it risks people’s lives and that drivers aren’t licensed or properly insured. But there are reasons cabs have largely lost their appeal, and Flywheel was one of the first to try to use technology to help this industry adapt to people’s changing behaviors and compete on the same level as Uber and Lyft.
In 2015, Flywheel introduced TaxiOS, a platform to replace cab meters, using a smartphone. When utilized, it provides GPS-based rates, processes mobile-based payments, and works as a new dispatch system. The company has since amassed an army of 1,800 active drivers with footholds in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Diego, Sacramento, Portland, and New York City.
By comparison, Cabconnect has more than 60,000 drivers using its technology, which offers similar functionality, including mobile payment processing, GPS services, personalized card-swipe programs, and more. The inclusion of Flywheel’s offering may encourage the taxi industry to update its experiences across the United States and help it fend off Uber and Lyft.
Read more: https://venturebeat.com/2017/04/07/cabconnect-acquires-flywheel-in-bid-to-create-on-demand-taxi-platform/?bt_ee=o3nP0pfDKazprQaM54qc48mnjTiygAIDqzGfSKBJQVgCHWePNpjYAH/vjJXk5Fph&bt_ts=1491664329867
- An ideal match: Flywheel and Cabconnect.