The taxi app war is bourgeois to say the least. Gett is letting Londoners order champagne to their door, the latest PR salvo in a market where competition is positively bubbling over.
From tomorrow, you can order a chilled bottle of Veuve Clicquot between 4pm and 10pm for £50, to be delivered by black cabbies-in-training on motorbikes within 10 minutes (traffic permitting…).
It should surprise no one that the service is only available in Knightsbridge, Chelsea, Belgravia, Kensington, Shoreditch, Clerkenwell and the City. Or, as Moet Hennessy’s UK MD Jo Thornton put it, to ‘discerning Londoners’.
The five-year-old Israeli company, which has 8,000 black cab drivers in London, recently rebranded, having been founded as GetTaxi. ‘This is the start of a wide new range of services to be offered through the Gett app - the consumer demand is enormous,’ its UK CEO Remo Gerber said.
It’s not out of the blue. Founder and boss Shahar Waiser said earlier this year, ‘Gett is expanding into new verticals – think Gett Pizza, Gett Sushi, Gett Grocery, Gett Wine, Gett Flowers, Gett Dry Cleaning and Gett Plumber.’
Nor is it the only taxi app thinking along those lines. Uber, valued at a staggering $41bn (£26.4bn), having raised almost $6bn to Gett’s $220m, changed its slogan from ‘everyone’s private driver’ to ‘where lifestyle meets logistics’ in 2013. It delivers restaurant food in Chicago, LA, New York, Toronto and Barcelona via its UberEats service and its latest PR stunt was free, albeit mostly unavailable, ice cream delivery last week.
This battle isn’t a duel either. In London alone Uber and Gett compete with Hailo, Bounce, Maaxi, Kabbee and Minicabit, to name just a few of the mushrooming taxi-hailing apps. MT will eat its top hat if one of those doesn’t offer rides in a Rolls Royce within the year.