This London-based ride-hailing startup aims to build an Uber rival in the luxury market

This London-based ride-hailing startup aims to build an Uber rival in the luxury market

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Ride-hailing services connect passengers and local drivers owning vehicles via online platforms or apps. Usually, these are cheaper than the local cabs and offer comfortable and convenient door-to-door transportation. Ride-hailing services such as Lyft and Uber are popular all over the world but these are not the only ones.

Wheely is a luxury ride-hailing app based in London founded in 2010 by Anton Chirkunov and Pavel Bocharov. As Uber that debuted as a luxury company and faced horrific stories later, Wheely is focused on building a predictable and reliable ride-hailing experience to its users.

Secures €13.5M funding

This London-based ride-hailing startup has secured $15 million (nearly €13.5 million) Series B funding. This round was led by Concentric along with participation from Oleg Tscheltzoff, Misha Sokolov and other investors. Wheely is aimed at building a competitor to Uber with the luxury market being its prime target.

Expanding to Paris

Wheely is currently live in London, St. Petersburg and Moscow. And, it is all set to ply its vehicles on the roads of Paris this summer. Till date, the service works with 3,500 drivers and has a run rate of $80 million in terms of gross bookings.

Wheely’s recruitment process

One cannot become a Wheely driver in just one day. To become one, the company requires the person to have at least three years of driving experience as a chauffeur. Also, it is important to pass multiple tests including etiquette and driving tests. The sternness of Wheely’s recruitment process enables only one in four drivers of UberBlack to pass the exam.

How does it work?

This ride-hailing service provider works with third-party partners and does not employ drivers on its own. Also, it takes 20% commission on each ride. It does insist on strict recruitment of drivers. Wheely enjoys 11% gross bookings in London now.

As of now, the company offers three different classes – a normal one offers Mercedes-Benz E-Class cars, a van category with Mercedes-Benz V-Class vehicles and a fancy one with Mercedes-Benz S-Class cars.

Tariff plans

The rides cost at least £12 (nearly €14) for the entry-level class, £16 (nearly €18) for S-Class vehicles and £40 (nearly €46) for a van. Later, users have to pay more based on the time spent and distance travelled. Of course, it is relatively expensive than the traditional ride-hailing services and it makes sense as it is a luxury service provider.

Stay tuned to Silicon Canals for more updates in the tech startup world.

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Build a career in emerging tech: 5 things you need to know about EIT Digital Academy Summer Schools 2019

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