Taxi app Lynk plans to go na­tion­wide

The Irish Times - Business - - TECHNOLOGY - CHAR­LIE TAY­LOR

Ir­ish-founded taxi book­ing app Lynk, whose pri­mary cus­tomer base is in Dublin, is look­ing to ex­pand na­tion­wide, with plans to start op­er­at­ing in Cork and Galway shortly.

The ex­pan­sion comes af­ter the com­pany, a home­grown ri­val to MyTaxi (for­merly Hailo), has in­vested about €1 mil­lion in re­cent months to part­ner with small taxi op­er­a­tors in the greater Dublin area.

Lynk was founded by Noel Ebbs in early 2015. It has about 500,000 cus­tomers in Dublin and a fleet of 2,700 driv­ers.

Over­all, the com­pany, which also op­er­ates across sev­eral UK cities and in the US, has “sev­eral mil­lion” cus­tomers.

The com­pany ramped up op­er­a­tions in the UK and US last year af­ter se­cur­ing €25 mil­lion in pri­vate fund­ing to launch the Ri­ide brand in both mar­kets.

Lynk has com­pleted four lo­cal ac­qui­si­tions over the past few months, snap­ping up Penny Cabs in Lu­can, Maynooth Cabs, Tal­laght Ex­press Cabs, and Ex­che­quer Cabs, which op­er­ates on Dublin’s north­side. “We’re op­er­at­ing through­out the greater Dublin area and plan to be avail­able in Cork and Galway be­fore the end of the year,” Mr Ebbs said.

Over­seas ex­pan­sion

Mr Ebbs said that in ad­di­tion to be­com­ing a na­tional plat­form, Lynk was in­tent on fur­ther ex­pan­sion over­seas.

“We are op­er­at­ing across all the ma­jor cities in the UK now and have about 20,000 driv­ers work­ing for us,” Mr Ebbs said. “We formed an al­liance with a num­ber of in­vestors there to take the soft­ware plat­form na­tion­wide and have en­joyed great suc­cess. So much so that it is a bit like shoot­ing fish in a bar­rel.”

“We have also done a num­ber of deals with yel­low cab com­pa­nies in Wash­ing­ton and Vir­ginia re­cently and are very ex­cited about prospects there,” he added.

The com­pany recorded turnover of about €15 mil­lion in 2016, with Mr Ebbs say­ing the com­pany had per­formed ahead of ev­ery ex­pec­ta­tion since its launch.

“In­creased com­pe­ti­tion means we might not do this in 2017 be­cause it is be­com­ing more dif­fi­cult to main­tain such a high level of growth, but I’d be very op­ti­mistic that we’ll reach our tar­gets of a 10 per cent rise in rev­enues. If we don’t we’ll be very close,” Mr Ebbs said.

Lynk, based in New­mar­ket, Dublin 8, em­ploys about 100 peo­ple di­rectly, most of whom work in cus­tomer ser­vices and ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Un­like ri­vals such as MyTaxi, whose busi­ness model is based on tak­ing a per­cent­age of ev­ery cab fare, Lynk makes much of its rev­enue from mem­ber­ship fees paid by driv­ers who sign up to the ser­vice.

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