Emerging Technology

App tackling taxi industry monopoly secures $1 million in new funding

Rose Powell /

Australian taxi booking and payment mobile app ingogo has secured another $1 million in funding to drive national expansion and appointed a new director.

The funding comes from a team of investors including Pacific Venture Advisors’ managing director Vikram Mehta and principal partner Raj Dalal, co-founder and managing director of Alceon Trevor Loewensohn and businessmen Victor Gomes and Zac Rosenberg.

Ingogo’s founder and managing director Hamish Petrie told StartupSmart the fact they had already signed up 15% of Sydney taxi drivers was a positive sign their plan to disrupt every facet of the taxi industry business was gaining traction.

“We’re trying to challenge the taxi industry on all fronts. No one’s ever done that successfully before,” Petrie says.

“People think we’re just a passenger booking app, but we’re more than that. We’re a full mobile payment system for cabs. We’ve spent a lot of time in the backend to make sure we can settle with the drivers every day. And we’ve got a full corporate system as well to take on Cabcharge.”

Cabcharge is Australia’s dominant taxi payment system, which it says is found in about 97% of the country’s taxis.

The new funding brings ingogo’s funding total to $3.7 million. Mehta has also been appointed as a director to ingogo’s board.

Petrie, who also founded ticketing platform Moshtix, says the partnership came about after they pitched at the CeBIT tech conference in Sydney earlier this year.

The 10-person strong ingogo team will use the capital to expand to Melbourne and several other Australian cities by the end of the year.

Petrie says they are hoping to expand internationally once they’ve developed a strong system and network locally.

“We will be seeking further capital offshore to do things internationally, but these funds will progress the business in Australia. Based on the growth we’re seeing here, we’re developing a great pilot country to take to investors offshore,” he says.

Ingogo launched the app just over 12 months ago. Petrie says most of the growth has come from taxi drivers using the payment system, and this has fuelled the booking growth as well.

“We’ve spent quite a bit of time getting the model right. We’ve gone direct to the drivers and we’ve not worked with the networks or operators,” Petrie says.

“We started pretty rough and ready with the app, but we’ve been incrementally building the platform out since then and learning a lot about mobile payments.”

Petrie says the big challenge has been mastering the mobile payment system.

“We’ve been down a few wrong paths, but we’ve got a solid mobile payments model now. It’s the core of our system, and now it’s working really well and we’re ready to grow,” he says.

This article first appeared on StartupSmart.

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