Hailo hires Starbucks boss, lands $30m in cash and plans global expansion

By: April 15, 2013
Ron Zeghibe, chairman; Jay Bergman, CEO; Caspar Woolley, COO of Hailo - the winners of the Appys Grand Prix 2012 Ron Zeghibe, chairman; Jay Bergman, CEO; Caspar Woolley, COO of Hailo - the winners of the Appys Grand Prix 2012

Hailo, the mobile app that has transformed the way people use taxis in Dublin, has just secured $30.6 million in Series B funding from Union Square Ventures.

Hailo, which won the Grand Prix at The Appys 2012, has also hired Tom Barr, former Starbucks head of coffee business as its new President and COO USA. Over 12 years, Tom Barr grew the Starbucks business from 2,500 to over 16,000 stores in the US. His mission is to make Hailo a brand name across the United States.

Hailo’s first new target market is New York City. “We now have the senior team, resources, and the investment and corporate partners to deliver our vision of bringing Hailo to NYC, Tokyo, and everywhere,” says Jay Bregman, Hailo CEO and co-founder.

In just over a year, Hailo has established operations in ten cities across six countries and has sales in excess of $100 million.

Hailo is also entering Japan. Tokyo has 40,000 taxis and the Japanese taxi market is estimated at $25 billion, making this an important growth area for Hailo.

Colm O’Cuilleanain, president of EMEA, launched Hailo in Dublin last year, making it the number one taxi service in the city within three months. He is now taking Hailo to Spain, beginning with Madrid and Barcelona. Additional European capitals will follow, says the company.

Stephen Conmy
- Editor and co-founder of Digital Times, co-founder of The Appys, writer and publisher.