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HAILO Raises $30 Million, Picks Up Former Head Of Coffee Biz At Starbucks To Perk Up Urban Travel

Top NYC Venture Capitalist and Twitter-Backer Union Square Ventures leads investment; Hailo now the largest and best-capitalized taxi app network in the world with over $50M raised. 

Starbucks VP joins to Turbocharge NYC launch and Lead US; Former Head of LVMH to Win Japan and Asia, Outdoor Advertising Maven and HAILO first-round Angel Investor to spread Dublin success across EMEA. 

First stops for 2013 include NYC, Tokyo; "HAILO puts ten thousand taxis in your pocket. Games and music made smartphones fun. Maps made them useful. HAILO will make them indispensable. Get ready to take back control of your life," NYC-based CEO and Founder Jay Bregman states.

TORONTO, Feb. 5, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, Hailo laid out its plans to expand its market-leading taxi app network across the globe. With the addition of Tom Barr, former Starbucks Head of Coffee Business as its new President and COO USA and a $30.6 million investment led by mobile and network gurus Union Square Ventures, Hailo's vision to be on home screens everywhere is now closer than ever. 

"Hailo is mobilizing a massive, global shift in consumer behavior from hail to e-hail which will substantially improve the control passengers and taxi drivers have in their lives," says Jay Bregman, Hailo CEO and Co-Founder and native New Yorker. "In just over a year, we have operations in ten cities across six countries and sales in excess of $100M. We now have the senior team, resources, and the investment and corporate partners to deliver our vision of bringing Hailo to NYC, Tokyo, and every street corner in every major city in the world. We have shifted into overdrive." 

Union Square Ventures has a reputation and track record of spotting networks with global potential, as the first institutional investors in Twitter, Foursquare and Tumblr. USV Opportunity Fund Partner John Buttrick said "We first met the Hailo team at the end of 2011, just after they launched in London. The company did a superb job in this market and are now the dominant e-hail application in London by a wide margin. We believe the Hailo platform will develop into a global network and will significantly improve transportation experiences in cities around the world. We are thrilled to lead this round of financing as Hailo expands into the United States - including our hometown of New York City - Asia and continental Europe."  Mr. Buttrick joins the Hailo Board. 

Superstar entrepreneur and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and top Japanese telco KDDI also invested in the latest financing. KDDI signed an exclusive partnership leveraging its 35 million subscribers and extensive relationships to support launches in Asia, starting with Tokyo. Tokyo has 40,000 taxis and the Japanese taxi market is estimated at $25B, making this an extremely important growth area for Hailo. 

Hailo is coming to NYC this quarter and has reinforced its US team with a heavyweight former Starbucks Executive. Over 12 years, Tom played a core role in growing the Starbucks business from 2,500 to over 16,000 stores and creating a wealth of new products and services across their network. Tom's mission is to make HAILO a brand name across the United States and to leverage his expertise improving the experience of morning coffee to the morning commute. 

Kiyotaka Fujii is President, Japan and Asia Pacific and has also joined Hailo's Board of Directors. Fujii is an expert at bringing western brands to Asia. Educated at the University of Tokyo and Harvard Business School, he was McKinsey's first employee in Tokyo. He went on to bring business software giant SAP to Japan to market leadership. He was personally recruited by the founder to lead LVMH in Japan where he catalyzed a renaissance of luxury brands in Japan. He recently joined the Board of Olympus. 

Colm O'Cuilleanain is President of EMEA. O'Cuilleanain launched Hailo in Dublin, making it the number one taxi service in the city in just three months, with uncontrollable growth and brand recognition. He is now taking Hailo to Spain, beginning with Madrid and Barcelona. Additional European capitals will follow. 

Hailo is the evolution of the hail - its free smartphone app ensures you are always just two taps and two minutes away from a taxi, and helps cabbies get more passengers when they need them. 

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