Company: Flywheel Software
Between fines from the state PUC and class-action lawsuits by taxi drivers, several of the ride-sharing services we’ve covered here – Lyft, Uber and SideCar – have been under fire lately.
On the surface it appears to be a classic case of technology startups disrupting an industry that has failed to innovate, of using smartphone apps to find rides almost instantly vs. waiting on the street corner wondering whether the cab you ordered the old-fashioned way will actually show up.
Well, Flywheel (formerly Cabulous) is a San Francisco company with a different solution. Since 2009 it has been building digital dispatch apps and forming relationships with the taxi companies to help bring the industry into the 21st century.
Over the holidays, it quietly started to integrate the first of 140 cabs from DeSoto Cab Co., which means that by the end of January or so, Flywheel will be “north of 600 cabs in San Francisco,” says CEO Steve Humphreys. “With others we are integrating into our system, we soon will be in half of the taxis in this city.”