Gett (formerly GetTaxi), Israel's largest representative in the ridesharing and taxi hailing app market is preparng for a potential IPO. Gett CEO Dave Waiser wrote to employees this morning saying that the company's board had given him the green light to explore the option of an IPO this year.
Waiser wrote, "We are on target to become operationally profitable already in October this year. Most of our competition show growing losses over the past three years. In contrast, Gett is improving in revenues and EBITDA year-on-year."
He added, "Being proftable, together with our focus on B2B, strengthens our differentiation in the eyes of investors, and opens up an IPO oppurtunity, potentially as soon as 2019, and the board gave us a green light to explore this option."
Gett is a rather mysterious company that provides little information about its business performance and competitive position in the market. We do know, of course, that Gett dominates the taxi hailing market in Israel and has an active presence in the UK and US, based on its acquisition of Juno, its former competitor.
Most of the business about Gett, however, comes from foreign sources. The most recent report in December 2018 was a leak to German newspaper Der Spiegel stating that Volkswagen, Gett's main investor, had allegedly written down the book value of its investment in Gett from $300 million in 2016 to $18 million. In other words, Volkswagen almost completely wrote off its investment in the company, despite having reportedly invested $80 million in Gett's last financing round in 2018.
Der Spiegel's report was denied by Gett, nor has it been confirmed by Volkswagen to this day. Volkswagen has not yet published the financial statements that should include this alleged write-down, so there is no way of knowing whether it actually occurred.
An earlier report in Bloomberg in November 2018 quoted anonymous sources as saying that Gett had conducted negotiations to sell all of its activity, while at the same time considering the option of a public offering.
On the other hand, Nafta, an investor in Gett through Russian investment fund Vostok, published its periodic financial reports in August 2018 containing financial information about Gett, in which it holds a 5% stake. According to that report, Gett generates $1 billion in annual revenue, at least half of which comes from the company's activity in New York and London. Vostok Nafta estimated the value of Gett at $1.4 billion as of the end of March 2018. The most interesting statement, however, is that Gett "aims to reach profitability in every market in which it is active by the first quarter of 2019." Gett confirmed this prediction in November, saying, "Gett is on a clear path to global profitability in the first half of 2019."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 6, 2019
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