Founder Hamish Petrie told Private Media the Sydney-based startup is set to expand to Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide, having completed an earlier expansion to Melbourne in May of last year.
“We started up in Melbourne a year ago, that was a success. Now we’re building our network of drivers before launch. In Brisbane we’ve established an office, and we’re building our driver footprint before launching the passenger offering,” Petrie says.
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“We’ve been working on getting our pay system robust and lots of other things behind the scenes. The mobile apps, systems for hotels and restaurants and various business systems are solid to the point of rolling them out nationally.”
In August of last year, the company expanded beyond its original taxi booking niche when it launched a portable payment and accounting platform aimed at SMEs in partnership with Xero.
Since then, it has been implementing a more professional management structure ahead of an IPO. The restructure has included the appointment of new chief commercial officer Craig Hopper and chief financial officer Trent Jerome.
“It’s imperative that you have a professional team in place to scale up and you’ve got to do things in a credible way. Getting the business to that point will be helpful in the corporate market,” Petrie says.
Petrie says Ingogo is predominantly interested in the IPO to improve its access to capital.
“We haven’t set an exact date, except that it will happen this year. We’ve grown our payments business rapidly. We thought we’d do $100 million in payments and we’re past that point now,” he says.
Far from being a hindrance, Petrie says recent controversies at rival Uber has helped Ingogo to grow, and it is unlikely that Apple Pay will be a direct rival to its payment services.
“There’s been quite a bit of negative sentiment about [Uber]. In contrast, we’re safe, we’re insured, our drivers are licensed, and our prices are fixed. That’s something both our corporate and private passengers say is important to them.
“We think [Apple Pay] is fantastic. It brings faster, more convenient digital payments, and we’re already set up and ready for digital payments.