Sydney-based taxi booking app Ingogo has secured a fresh round of funds from a host of new, high-profile investors, with founder Hamish Petrie flagging plans for a national rollout.
Ingogo, which promises to put users in direct contact with the nearest taxi, was set up by Petrie after he sold his electronic ticketing system, Moshtix, to News Limited in December 2007.
In 2011, Ingogo assembled a group of leading private investors, including senior executives at Google and MYOB.
Now Ingogo has added several other investors to the list, with Daniel Petre, Alison Deans and Martin Dalgleish all becoming shareholders in the business after putting up funds.
The amount of funding remains undisclosed, as does each investor’s stake in the business. However, all three investors are well known in the start-up world.
Petre and Deans have, over the past 15 years, invested more than $100 million in multiple technology-related start-up companies, while Dalgleish is an advisor to the Ellerston Capital Special Opportunities Platform.
“It’s great to have guys like that actually join our investor team,” Petrie told StartupSmart.
“They bring that knowledge and networks with them, which is really important to the problem we’re trying to tackle here, which is disrupting the taxi industry.
“You need to have a good network of people before you can make sure you can do that.”
The announcement comes after Ingogo received a $250,000 Commercialisation Australia grant to develop a corporate taxi system in competition with its main rival, Cabcharge.
Petrie says he was introduced to Petre, Deans and Dalgleish through Ingogo’s existing network of investors and a company that assisted in the sale of Moshtix.
While Petrie has flat-out refused to unveil any figures, he says the funds are “in our bank account as we speak”.
“[Overall,] we’ve taken a seven-figure sum of money in terms of capital… We run a pretty lean approach to growing the business,” he says.
“We’re doing quite well with our mobile payments platform. We’d like to continue growing that nationally.
“With our mobile bookings app, we’ve just done another reiteration of that… We’re starting to see some good results through that. We’ve also started piloting our corporate payment system.”
Petrie says the corporate payment system is a direct result of the grant Ingogo received from Commercialisation Australia.
“We used that money to build that system. It’s been built and we’re piloting that with some companies in Sydney but we want to roll out further,” he says.
“There hasn’t been an alternative for a company to give their staff a system to pay for cabs. Now they have an alternative.”
While Ingogo is focused predominantly on the Sydney market, it is also doing a pilot in Melbourne, where 35 cabs are testing its system.
The ultimate goal is to go nationwide, says Petrie, but not before Ingogo nails the Sydney market.
“We will keep it pretty close to Sydney [for now] because we want to perfect the product and get it right,” he says.