Rapid growth for ride-hailing app Autocab as it helps the fightback against Uber

David Prior's picture

Ride-hailing app technology launched by Stockport software company Autocab is helping taxi firms fight back against Uber.

Originally founded in the era of two-way radios, the company has developed a consumer-facing app and SaaS-based booking and dispatch platform that is allowing local firms to combat the threat Uber poses to the industry.

Following the transformation in 2015, more than 50% of the UK private taxi hire market has now adopted Autocab’s software - including some of the largest firms in the UK, such as Manchester-based StreetCars and Boro Cars of Middlesbrough.

The company has also expanded into more than 20 countries around the world, helping the business to 43% growth over the last four years.

“We realised we had to change our business model if we were going to help local taxi firms compete against Uber,” said CEO Safa Alkateb.

Autocab is now used by more than 50% of the UK private taxi hire market

“The growth of ride-hailing apps has completely changed the passenger market, turning the industry on its head. By investing in the latest technology and converting our business to a SaaS model however, we have been able to provide a solution that was long overdue – and it’s levelling the playing field for local taxi firms.”

A family-owned business, led by Alkateb and nephew Hassan Abod, Autocab currently has 170 employees including a 24-person development team.

The business, based in Cheadle in Stockport, has evolved into a SaaS business that is providing local taxi firms with the technology required to combat the threat to the industry posed by ride-hailing apps such as Uber.

“The transition from hardware supplier to software supplier wasn’t easy,” explains Alkateb. “It was a bit like converting a propeller plane to a jet plane in mid-flight. But after a bumpy transition, we now have a profitable business and are looking to reinvest in further innovations.

“Not only are we helping taxi firms to transform their operations, we are also exploring ways that they can play a leading role in the technology revolution currently taking place in transportation and mobility. This includes developments in ride sharing, connected and autonomous vehicles and the exciting emergence of Transportation-as-a-Service.”