Unlike its more high-profile competitor Uber, Hailo has taken a totally opposite tack that involves getting locals on board before it bulldozes into a new market. Fingers crossed this nice-guys-finish-first model wins.
On-demand taxi service Hailo is looking east. After successful launches in cities throughout Europe and North America, the startup is intent on bringing its e-hail application to Tokyo, Japan. To do so, the company has created a Japanese subsidiary, and it’s raised some strategic funding from Japanese telco KDDI, in addition to Union Square Ventures, Richard Branson, and others. The funding plans were previously reported by AllThingsD.
Hailo is one of a growing number of e-hail applications which connect passengers with rides, relying on GPS location to find the nearest driver and in-app mobile payments to facilitate transactions. The startup first launched its service in London in 2011, and has since been slowly adding new markets that it operates in.