According to reports on German news site Netzwertig, German taxi-hailing app MyTaxi has been acquired by automotive company and previous investor Daimler for an undisclosed amount. The Hamburg-based startup was founded in 2009, and counts Hailo & Uber among its competitors. Expanding across Europe and eyeing the US market, myTaxi raised €10 Million in 2012 from T-Ventures (Deutsche Telekom’s venture arm), Daimler, and business angels, which include Frank Thalen.
Here at the European Pirate Summit in Cologne this week, T-Ventures partner Thomas Grota, who led the investment in MyTaxi, tells me that the company had been receiving acquisition offers from competing taxi apps (possibly Hailo & Uber), and that Daimler ultimately decided to invoke its right to refusal as a current investor.
mytaxi has always been a star performer in our portfolio. Our engagement in the company has been highly positive on several levels: from the professional collaboration with the team to the successful exit. Our expectations have not simply been met, but exceeded.” – Thomas Grota, T-Ventures
According to a 2012 article from TechCrunch, Daimler had taken a 15% stake in the company during its 2012 fundraising. The acquisition makes sense, given that, in Germany, Daimler manufactures 60% of all taxis. The opportunity to spread MyTaxi across taxi’s to create a new revenue model for Daimler. In addition, Daimler’s subsidiary Car2Go already provides ride-sharing services using Daimler vehicles.
The fundraising announcement leaked last night after a disgruntled German taxi driver posted a blog post criticizing the changing commission model earlier this year, citing investor pressure.
Daimler isn’t the first car manufacturing to dabble in ride-sharing services. BMW’s DriveNow services came to San Francisco in 2012 after receiving acclaim in Germany. In addition, Uber’s API, which launched last month, will provide an increased competition across Europe, especially if Uber expands its feature for Taxi integration outside of select cities.