Shahar Smirin of Russian daily deals site Vigoda.ru is launching another business: Get Taxi, a cab-organizing concierge-esque service. Get Taxi is based on a mobile app for customers and a hardware device for cabs, wirelessly connecting drivers with fares and even handling the monetary transaction. TechCrunch reports that the service has been in testing in Israel and plans to launch in London in August, followed by Moscow and then French and German cities.
Get Taxi’s services will cost slightly more than your average cab fare, but Smirin promises that the service is worth the extra charge for its reliability and customer service. If GetTaxi can’t get you a cab from its network, it will book a competitor for you. The company has been preparing for the London launch and already has 250 cabs signed to work with the GetTaxi system and 50 businesses (like hotels, restaurants and law firms that frequently order cabs for their patrons) agreeing to send fares to GetTaxi.
Smirin has raised $9 million in funding from Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries Fund, and has put in a few million of his own money as well.