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Renault buys failed taxi comparison app Karhoo

Taxi comparison app Karhoo has been bought out of administration by French car manufacturer Renault.

According to a statement, RCI Bank and Services, the financial services provider for the Groupe Renault brands, acquired a majority holding in Flit Technologies Ltd, which had previously won the takeover bid for Karhoo.

Founded by Daniel Ishag, Karhoo is believed to have received 40 bids by global corporates and investment firms after it ceased operations in November.

Headquartered in New York, Karhoo was once considered to rival popular ride-sharing app Uber following claims it had raised $250m from investors.

However, internal documents then showed that the startup had only raised about $40m and that it was struggling to generate revenue and attract further investment.

Boris Pilichowski and Nicolas Andine, who have taken over as joint CEOs, commented on the acquisition: “There is a need in ground transportation for someone to aggregate all the independents and allow them to compete and we are determined to make sure Karhoo fills that need. Karhoo was amazingly successful in ferrying hundreds of thousands of people around the world but lacked a corporate backer, but with RCI Bank and Services, we now have that.”

Alice Altemaire, chairman of the board of Flit Technologies Ltd, vice president, accounting and performance control of RCI Bank and services, said she was delighted to bring Karhoo back to life and looking forward to working with the team to develop a new strategy over the next few months.

“I was very impressed by the professionalism and enthusiasm of the teams and I’m sure we will soon be back on the market. We will learn from each other. Furthermore, this investment will allow RCI Bank and Services to expand and enrich its offer,” Altemaire added.

The news comes after fellow automotive firm VW poured $300m in Gett, Daimler bought a majority stake in Hailo and GM invested $500m in Lyft.