The company has announced it will phase out its North American services entirely.
London-based taxi app company Hailo announced yesterday that it would close its North American operations—including in Toronto—amid a price war between competitors such as Uber and Lyft.
Hailo, whose eponymous app allows users to order and pay for a taxi with their smartphone, began operating in Toronto just two years ago. The company has not given a timeline for its exit, but in a blog post on the Toronto section of the company’s website, Hailo Canada president Justin Raymond writes: “Hailo Toronto would like to assure its drivers and loyal passengers that we will continue to deliver and support our service for the foreseeable future.” He added that more information will be available “in the coming days.”
Other cities affected by the shutdown are Montreal, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C. The move is expected to cost roughly 20 staff in Canada and the United States their jobs.
Tom Barr, Hailo’s chief executive, told the Financial Times, “When we moved into North America, we had two entrenched first-mover competitors. They are in a price war. It’s not that we aren’t growing there, but the profitability of the market and the type of environment [that other taxi-app companies] are setting up—both on the driver and passenger side—ceased to make sense to us.”
Hailo will continue to provide its services in more lucrative European and Asian markets.