Mytaxi's Irish arm plunged into the red as it completed its Hailo takeover

The company highlighted competition in the tax-hailing market as one of its key risks.

By Jonathan Keane Reporter, Fora

THE IRISH ARM of taxi hailing outfit Mytaxi booked a loss of nearly €4 million at the end of 2016 despite an increase in sales.

Newly filed accounts show that the firm booked a loss of €3.9 million during the 12-month period.

The company, previously known as Hailo, had been profitable at the end of 2015 to the tune of about €220,660.

The former Hailo operation was acquired in mid-2016 by German firm Intelligent Apps, which is owned by Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler. The service was rebranded as Mytaxi and the switchover was completed in 2017.

A spokesperson for the company noted that Mytaxi’s sales increased by more than a third in 2016 to more than €9 million, while gross profits swelled from €5.6 million to €7.8 million.

They said the €3.9 million loss “relates to an inter-company loan” and said Mytaxi will continue to “invest heavily in improving our services”.

Merger pains

Following the Mytaxi switchover, the cab hailing app came under fire from users who complained of being unable to book taxis and experiencing technical issues they had not encountered with Hailo.

Last year, the company admitted that there had been technical hurdles – or “tech gremlins” – in making the transition.

In its latest accounts, Mytaxi highlighted the technological risks to its business. It said that it must customise its technology stack from city to city.

“This approach created an increased risk that the technology platform could fail, impacting the ability to grow quickly and profitably,” the directors’ report stated.

The migration from the Hailo app to the Mytaxi app presented another “technological risk”.

The “significant number of startups in the taxi-hailing market” presents a challenge to Mytaxi, the directors noted, and the firm expects competition to increase.

Mytaxi recently appointed ex-AA Ireland sales and marketing director Alan Fox as its general manager for Ireland.

Sign up to our newsletter to receive a regular digest of Fora’s top articles delivered to your inbox.