Total Transit Acquires San Diego Mobile App Developer GoFastCab
Total Transit, a Glendale, AZ-based transportation company and taxi cab operator, has acquired GoFastCab, a five-year-old San Diego startup that had developed mobile apps that enable smartphone users to get a taxi immediately or to schedule a future pickup. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
GoFastCab founders Josh Komenda and Jeremy Schrage, who are the startup’s only full-time employees, will join Total Transit as part of a separate multi-million dollar investment in 2PointB, a mobile app suite and technology the Arizona transportation company is developing. Total Transit, which was founded in 1984 and operates Discount Cab in the Phoenix metro area, was a GoFastCab customer, Komenda told me by telephone this afternoon. Discount Cab, one of the largest cab companies in the Southwest, operates more than 800 cabs, and says over 85 percent of its taxicab fleet are fuel-efficient Toyota Prius hybrids.
GoFastCab was founded in 2008, funded by friends and family, and operated on a lean business model, Komenda said. They relied heavily on contract software developers in Russia, and technology consultants based in San Diego.
“We’re very positive and happy,” about the acquisition, Komenda said.
After graduating earlier last month from EvoNexus, where they worked for just over a year in the tech startup incubator, Komenda said they plan to remain in downtown San Diego, “working with Total Transit and consultants and growing the business.” They already were working closely with Total Transit’s founding CEO Craig Hughes and President Michael Pinckard, he added.
In a statement from the company, Pinckard says, “This next chapter for Total Transit couldn’t come at a better time in our industry, where mobile technology has played a significant and ever-changing role in recent months. We’re ready to shake things up a little bit.”
Smartphone apps have been disrupting the timeworn process of hailing a taxi or reserving a livery car in recent years—led by San Francisco-based Uber and lower-cost, real-time ridesharing startups such as Lyft and SideCar. Uber’s growth has represented a threat to many taxicab operators, which traditionally invested heavily in sophisticated, computerized dispatch systems that once represented a significant barrier to entry.
But where Uber has been generating lawsuits and headlines for outmaneuvering local regulations governing taxis and other car for-hire services, Komenda says GoFastCab has worked to stay within the regulatory white lines.
“A lot of the regulations didn’t account for the type of business models that are enabled by powerful smartphones with mobile apps, cheap wireless data, and Software-as-a-Service,” Komenda says. “We believe there are a lot more technology opportunities out there.”