Competition in the U.S. market for limousine pick-ups has shifted up a gear with the acquisition of Limos.com by iCars, a startup in San Francsico that aims to be the typical corporate travel manager’s go-to service for arranging ground transportation.
ICars is going up against Blacklane (which has raised $42 million), Groundlink (which has raised $20 million and was acquired this week by Marcou Transportation Group), and Deem (which has raised hundreds of millions for its various incarnations).
On the supply side, each of these companies affiliate with some of the 8,000 limousine providers in the U.S., sending referrals to run trips for corporate travelers whenever the drivers aren’t otherwise booked with local, direct reservations.
On the demand side, travel managers tend to distrust services like Uber because of uncertainty about the quality of the drivers and vehicles. They tend to prefer chauffeur services that vet driver and vehicle quality, who have software that syncs with corporate reporting systems, and who are willing to negotiate discounted rates.
The merger between Limos.com and iCars is bittersweet. Limos.com began as a San Francisco startup that ran a consumer booking website for limousine rentals. A half-dozen years ago, it raised $5 million from Canal Partners and then $15 million from Austin Ventures. Follow the link below for full article!
by Sean O’Neill, Skift – Jan 31, 2017