Hailo Network Ltd., the taxi application that competes with Uber Technologies Inc., will discontinue its operations in North America and its co-Chief Executive Officer Jay Bregman will leave the company.

Costs to market the service in North America were “astronomical” and made “profitability for any one player almost impossible,” Tom Barr, CEO and president of London-based Hailo, said in an e-mailed statement.

Instead, the company will focus on its businesses in Europe and Asia and new products, such as a planned concierge service, Barr said. Bregman, one of the company’s six founders, had spent the last 2 1/2 years in New York to ramp up the North American business, where Hailo competes with apps such as Uber, GetTaxi Inc. and Lyft Inc.

While Hailo was struggling in North America, its biggest rival has been fighting against a regulatory backlash in Europe. Uber this month changed the business model for its services in Berlin to evade a ban by German authorities, reducing the fee for its UberPop car-sharing offer to eliminate profit for drivers. Uber raised money at a $17 billion valuation in a June, making it one of the most highly valued startups in Silicon Valley.

Closely-held Hailo’s North American markets include New York, Toronto, Chicago, Boston, Washington, Montreal and Atlanta.

To contact the reporter on this story: Amy Thomson in London at athomson6@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net James Callan, Niamh Ring.

Photo Credit: A taxi painted in Hailo colors in London. jonrussell / Flickr