Hailo is a service that lets you summon a black cab in London, Boston, Chicago, Dublin, and Toronto. The company has raised $30.6 million in Series B funding led by Union Square Ventures with participation from Japanese telecommunications company KDDI, Richard Branson (founder/chairman of Virgin Group), Phenomen Ventures, Felicis Ventures, Red Swan Ventures, Wellington Partners, and Atomico Ventures. Hailo has raised a total of about $50 million thus far.
The next city that Hailo will be launching is in New York City. The company hired former Starbucks Head of Coffee Tom Barr as their President and COO for the U.S. During Barr’s tenure at Starbucks, he helped grow the company from 2,500 outlets to over 16,000.
Hailo plans to expand to Tokyo soon which is why the investment from KDDI, the second largest telecommunications company in Japan, is not a coincidence. Hailo will arrive in Tokyo around Q2 2013 and KDDI signed an exclusive partnership with Hailo. Tokyo has around 40,000 taxis and the taxi market in Japan is believed to be worth around $25 billion.
Hailo is expected to hit around $100 million in annualized sales and they are seeing a cab being “hailed” somewhere in the world every five seconds. Hailo has carried around 2.5 million passengers to date and they have 10 offices in 6 countries including their headquarters in London.