Start-up launches Android-based taxi booking service

Social media, smartphones and geolocation central to Ingogo's success

Social media, smartphones and geolocation technology have enabled Sydney startup Ingogo to create an alternative taxi booking system.

Hamish Petrie said the business provides free Android smartphones to cab drivers who then coordinate bookings directly with the public.

“If you went back a couple of years ago, you didn’t have that massive user base of iPhone users, you didn’t have Android and there was no way we’d be able to afford to put a free Android device in cabs,” Petrie said.

“I thought that Ingogo would be a good way to let people know what is happening with their taxi and that letting them know exactly where their request is would actually take a lot of anxiety out of the process.”

The company, which has 16 employees, was founded three months ago and developed out of Petrie’s frustration when booking taxis.

“We provide a range of smartphone applications, and we’re starting with an iPhone app [for the public] that allows [taxi drivers] to connect with passengers,” the former head of Moshtix saying the system connects passengers with free taxi drivers.

“We provide the drivers with an Android device that connects them to all the nearby jobs and we’ve written back-end software that matches you as a passenger with the nearest drivers and updates you in real time.”

Petrie said the company’s next move is to launch the Ingogo app to the wider public.

“We’re now well capitalised and have all our software done and have been busy equipping drivers with the system,” he said.

“Our focus is solely on launching Ingogo nationally and making the app available on all phone platforms and making sure we can cover private and corporate passengers,” he said.

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