After four years in which it has offered taxi hailing services, GetTaxi is thinking big. The company has rebranded as Gett and is expanding its services into new categories and services based on the similar and more efficient method of its app. If all goes as planned, GetTaxi, which from today has changed its name to Gett (the name it already uses in New York), will now allow users to order a range of services from pizza and sushi to flowers and wine, massages and manicures, cleaners, and even doctors' house calls, all within 10 minutes.
At first glance this latest step by Gett, founded by CEO Shahar Waiser and Roi More, seems puzzling: why would a company that leads the taxi hailing sector through its smartphone app enter new areas that it does not know or understand? But Waiser, who has been living in New York in order to get to know the markets better and promote the company's operations, explains, "We've had this dream for several years, but implementing it was tough, if not impossible. Over the years we've worked to develop the technology, and today, it's finally enabling us to announce the change."
He added, "Over the past four years, we've saved a lot of time for people by bringing them taxi and transport solutions conveniently and swiftly. Today, we're expanding, and can save more time for people in other shopping categories."
Waiser stressed that the field of taxis will continue to be the main part of the company's activities. He said, "That's where our expertise and our revenue is, and we'll continue to lead that field and do new things in the area."
Waiser said that Gett's run-rate would reach $500 million in 2015 in transportation alone.
A 10-minute pizza
The most interesting of the four categories the company today announced it was entering, and perhaps the most competitive, is food. The company will make it possible to use its application to order pizza, sushi, and even food products from supermarket chains. "We aren't going to replace the experience of sitting in gourmet restaurants or the experience of shopping in supermarkets, but if you're at home and feel like having a pizza, wine, or chocolate, or if you've just run out of milk, these products will reach you in a few minutes," Waiser explains. Gett has not yet said how it intends to bring a product like a pizza to a customer within 10 minutes when it takes longer than that just to bake it. "We'll give more details at the launch, but most of the categories we'll offer can be supplied within 10 minutes," Waiser says, adding, "The new services will be provided from Haifa Bay to Eilat, except for a number of services that will be initially confined to the central region."
Provision of the services depends on working with external suppliers, and Gett is already in advanced negotiations for cooperation. "We'll have only a few cooperation agreements, because we want to make sure of uniformity and quality of service, together with an experience that is better than the market average," Waiser says.
Other than food, starting in July, the company plans to offer beauty and lifestyle services, such as manicure, hair design, and massage, as well as home maintenance solutions, including the possibility of ordering professionals, such as cleaners and plumbers. Another no less challenging field is medicine, and the company plans to offer a doctor who will visit homes for general checkups. "We'll do it efficiently, quickly, and effectively as far as the price is concerned," company sources said.
According to the company, all the new services, together with taxi services, will be granted under a single app. This should make it easier to provide the other services, but it could confuse consumers and cause additional and unnecessary pressure on someone who just wants to order a cab.
Waiser explained the idea behind the move: "Taxis could be ordered even before GetTaxi. The innovation lies in where GetTaxi did it - how I do it within a few seconds without talking to anyone, just by pushing a button. That's where we're going. How I can follow what I ordered after I ordered it, when it will arrive, paying by telephone, and having it all end there," he explains.
Recruiting employees at a rapid pace
As part of its new measures, Gett is planning a substantial personnel expansion. The company currently has 350 employees, including 150 in Israel, mostly in development. The company is adding 50 new employees a month, and plans to reach 500 just in taxis worldwide by the end of the year.
Similar to GetTaxi's model in the taxicab sector, in which the drivers are not company employees, the company will not have employer-employee relations in the new fields, but will ensure the level of service. "Just as we meet with the drivers, check their background and licenses, and give them service training, we'll also invest in the service aspect in the new areas, so that they provide polite and professional service," Waiser explains. The company will also have an innovative price policy. "We'll set uniform prices for everyone. Just like our taxis, there won't be any bargaining over the price. Everything will be known in advance and transparent."
There are no estimates for expected revenue from the new services, or not for publication, at any rate, but Waiser says, "I believe that within a year of the introduction of the new categories, the new services will used no less than the taxi ordering services."
Coming soon: large taxis and accessible vehicles
At the same time, the company announced two services it is planning to launch in its core taxicab business. In the coming weeks, the company will enable customers to order large taxicabs - XL - with six seats, similar to the service offered by Uber, its competitor, in Israel at the beginning of the year. In addition, the company plans to make it possible to order vehicles accessible to handicapped passengers.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 28, 2015
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