Another day, another ride-sharing investment. This time, the Volkswagen Group has announced its investing $300 million into Israeli-startup Gett.
The investment marks Gett – formerly GetTaxi – as a potential dark horse in the ride-sharing race.
Volkswagen said it invested in Gett as part of a strategy to generate new revenue from mobility services. That may include providing Gett with the hardware and software for an autonomous taxi fleet, which Uber, Lyft, and Google are all reportedly building.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Volkswagen Group, the number one global car manufacturer,” said Shahar Waiser, Gett’s founder and CEO. “With Volkswagen’s investment, Gett will now accelerate its expansion to the rest of Europe, and strengthen its position in NYC.”
For those unfamiliar with Gett, the company operates a much less disruptive service than Uber. Half of London’s black cabs are signed up, but the partnership is not exclusive, meaning drivers can pick up people outside of the app. Testers have said that can lead to a lack of taxis available at peak times, something Uber fixed with surge pricing.
Volkswagen eyeing Gett’s B2B service?
Gett also provides a business-to-business service that has over 4,000 clients. We assume Volkswagen is also looking at this sector, which generates 30 percent of Gett’s revenue, as a future mobility market.
“Alongside our pioneering role in the automotive business, we aim to become one of the world’s leading mobility providers by 2025,” said Matthias Müller, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen. “Within the framework of our future Strategy 2025, the partnership with Gett marks the first milestone for the Volkswagen Group on the road to providing integrated mobility solutions that spotlight our customers and their mobility needs.”
Volkswagen’s investment comes just one week after Apple’s surprising $1 billion investment in Didi Chuxing, though some analysts suspect this was a political power move from Apple. General Motors also invested $500 million in Lyft, with the goal of building an autonomous taxi fleet.