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For those who don’t want to worry about how they are going to arrive at their destinations—and let’s face it: we can all agree that safe and efficient transportation is constantly a priority—there is an innovative app available: meet Hailo. Founded in London, the app is offered across Europe and Asia. The year 2011—in the month of November, to be exact—brought the beginning of what would become a fierce competitor of app services such as Uber. The app is currently offered exclusively in Barcelona, Japan, London, Liverpool, Ireland, Madrid, Singapore, Osaka, Leeds, and Manchester.  

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#14 Hailo Logo Hailo



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The Good

  • Safe and reliable
  • App
  • Services

Hailo, which was originally founded by three taxi drivers and three technological tycoons, offers a safe outlet for transportation to clients; it is also a reliable source of income for the drivers. The process for becoming a driver requires documentation and a headshot, making it safe for customers looking to safely arrive at their destinations. It offers services that differ from its competitors, which has its advantages, but the app has its glitches and faults as well, which is clear from its inability to reach success in America.

Given that this app was founded partially by taxi drivers, there is a process for becoming a Hailo driver. Although the app has the ability to collect user information, it is confidential and generally not shared with third parties.

An international venture capital firm, Accel Partners, also known as 'Accel', funded Groupon, Kayak and Facebook, the infamous social media platform. That same company, along with several others, funded Hailo, adding to its appeal, making it credible and targeting a large range of clients.

Because of all of the funding, this app was able to establish a new standard of transportation. In addition, one of the true advantages that this app offers is that it is available not only on smart phones, but on desktops as well. This cannot be said for most of its competitors.

Like Uber, one must download the app, create an account and enter credit card information. Once the app setup is complete, you're able to see which taxi drivers are nearby and decide which one you want to hail.

You are also able to pick which service you want to use:

  • Taxi
  • Hailo+
  • HailoExec

Depending on which service is chosen, the prices will differ, ranging from basic to most exclusive. Once the service has been selected, clients are shown the estimated arrival time of the service. Unlike Uber, however, there is no tip included in the price, allowing customers to set their own percentage. Customers are expected to rate their drivers afterward, in order for Hailo to keep improving and offering reliable services.

Monday through Friday from 10am to 5pm, there is no minimum fare that must be paid, which is great news for those looking to travel short distances.

Oh, and for the best part-the part that makes it stand out from its competition...

At the end of 2014, the app came out with a pre-booking feature. So if you're going out for a night on the town and are afraid of having to wait for a cab at the end of the night, fear not. Cabs won't run out nor have you waiting, because you've previously determined for a cab to arrive within a certain time frame. Given that there are more successful apps that are similar, such as Uber and Lyft, it is safe to say that this is possibly the biggest perk to Hailo, making it stand out.

The Bad

  • Availability
  • Minimum fare

Although Hailo offers many perks, there are also several disadvantages, causing it to have a low standing in comparison to its competitors. The biggest disadvantages have to do with its availability or lack thereof. It isn't offered in America-although it was at some point in the American market-which not only limits their amount of clients, but also hinders global market potential, given that America is an influential consumer. As was previously determined, Uber is the larger company of the two, ever growing and available in nearly 200 cities the world over. Many people overlook the importance of being available in larger markets when it comes down to success and profitability, but all of this, when combined, causes friction for Hailo, relative to Uber.

When the app is evaluated individually, however, several downsides remain.There is a minimum fare of ten euros other than on weekdays from 10am to 5pm. This is unfortunate if the tip and total destination fare do not reach the minimum fare, because the remainder would be added to the cost. And the minimum fare applies to pre-booked trips as well.

There is a set cost when it comes to the large airports in the twenty cities where the Hailo services are offered, so this is a perk, but there is no set price if the pickup location is located within a close proximity. Hailo in only offered in the following cities:

  • Barcelona
  • Japan
  • London
  • Liverpool
  • Ireland
  • Madrid
  • Singapore
  • Osaka
  • Leeds
  • Manchester

Another disadvantage to the app would be that the free waiting time was reduced by 50%, going from five minutes to 2.5 minutes. It is still enough time for most people to get into their cabs once the app has notified them that it has arrived, so if one is looking at the glass half full, it is still a perk that the first 2.5 minutes of waiting are free. And, on a positive note, along with this change, they implemented a perk into their cancellation policy, allowing customers to cancel their Hailo taxis within a two-minute grace period.

Although this app has yet to improve many features, it is a promising method of safe and efficient transportation around certain cities in Europe and Asia.

The Bottom Line

There are certain advantages to using Hailo in transportation technology, such as desktop access, the customer's right to personalize tip percentage and the pre-booking ability, which allows customers to pre-book a cab at least an hour prior and up to a month before. However, the bottom line would be that other companies offer a more competitive edge and greater flexibility. Although the company has many advantages, the disadvantages overpower them.

Ultimately, customers are better off using a more reliable application within the realm of safe transportation, rather than Hailo. When comparing it with its strongest competitor, Uber, one should not rely on Hailo, which is offered in less competitive markets than the latter. There were various reasons as to why the service was removed in America, but clearly there are many alternatives to the application. It will also stay stagnant in terms of its ratings unless it decides to collaborate with other services or extend its services across different seas. Those that use the Hailo platform can expect the following from the service:

  1. Easy to use app
  2. Savings on transportation
  3. Limited service area

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    October 8th, 2015

    Very disappointed with Hailo. Made advance booking 3 days before departure date for journey to London City Airport. Received instant confirmation of booking. They would also send a reminder 1 hour beforehand and driver would call when on his way. Result NOTHING. NO reminder. NO driver. NO contact number to ring. Found a email to contact , instant response telling me to hang on while they find a driver. Result NOTHING.