Volkswagen Group invested $300 million in Gett, a Tel Aviv-based black car-hailing app that routinely needles Uber in its marketing material. The investment is a sign that Volkswagen wants to branch into the highly competitive ride-sharing market as it continues to deal with the fallout from the diesel emissions scandal.
Gett is widely used in cities like Moscow and London, but has struggled to compete with Uber in the US, where it is only available in New York City. The investment from Volkswagen, which brings Gett's total funding up to $520 million, should help its efforts to grow stateside.
it's unclear if Gett is interested in expanding in the US
It's unclear if Gett is interested in expanding in the US. In a statement, the startup's CEO Shahar Waiser said Gett "will now accelerate its expansion to the rest of Europe, and strengthen its position in NYC, where we already operate."
On the investment from VW, Waiser said: "On-demand ride booking is growing rapidly. In that context, Gett provides the Volkswagen Group with the technology to expand beyond car ownership to on-demand mobility for consumers. Further, both companies are equally successful with consumers and businesses; and VW will now be able to expand its leadership position by also offering on-demand rides to the B2B market."
VW, for its part, says it aims "to become one of the world's leading mobility providers by 2025," according to Matthias Müller, chair of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft. "Within the framework of our future Strategy 2025, the partnership with Gett marks the first milestone for the Volkswagen Group on the road to providing integrated mobility solutions that spotlight our customers and their mobility needs."
In addition to black cars, Gett also offers delivery services and logistics. The company is most well-known for its aggressively anti-Uber marketing campaign. Earlier this month, Gett announced a new fee structure for its drivers in New York City, prominently advertising a 10 percent take from fares — a commission that undercuts Uber by at least 10 percent. Gett also tried enticing riders with its "surge sucks" ad campaign.