SAN FRANCISCO — Two of the limousine industry’s foremost technology pioneers are combining their complementary services as part of a major deal closed Jan. 1 that will connect operators, clients, and affiliates.
iCARS, a B2B chauffeured car service app that uses a network of limousine company partners, purchasedLimos.com, the established lead generator that books web- and app-based customers for chauffeured rides. Once technical integration is completed in early February, iCARS and Limos.com will offer a seamless network of on-demand, near-demand, and advanced online reservation services via a vast network.
Added up, the combined numbers point to a limousine industry entity that provides a legal, high-quality alternative to transportation network companies (TNCs). The iCARS-Limos.com company, to remain under their respective brands, will serve 500 cities with 15,000 fleet vehicles, 2,500 operators, and 60 employees. Limos.com has raised over $20 million in equity and gets about three million visitors per year, and has 4.5 million users in its database. Owner and CEO Gary Bauer projects the venture will generate $65 million to $70 million in revenues for 2017.
About 1,000 Limos.com operators will be migrated to the iCARS platform, with Limos.com serving as the back-end operation consisting of operators and affiliates, and iCARS as the branded face of the company serving B2B corporate clients and business travelers. Limos.com also brings front- and back-end integration with Concur, Sabre, and Orbitz.
“This is a huge opportunity to take growth to the next level and have all major cities covered,” Bauer told LCT. “This enables us to be worldwide in every major city.”
Until the merger deal, iCARS had opened operations in San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Austin, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, and Las Vegas with plans to roll out to Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia. Now, iCARS will be able to draw upon operators and fleet vehicles in every major city immediately.
“All leads from iCARS and Limos.com will be pushed to [partner] operators,” Bauer said. “There will now be two engines driving leads.”
For operators, the wider network can not only bring in leads, but provide instant affiliates worldwide. Two to five-car operators, for example, can reap the same potential as the big five chauffeured network companies, Bauer said.
“After being in business for 28 years, we’re trying to help small- to mid-size operators be competitive in a TNC world. It’s important we help everyone out there stay alive and stay afloat.”
iCARS primarily pursues and markets to large corporate accounts and business travel contracts, although it’s available to consumer users. Some of its signature accounts include United Airlines, Fairmont Hotels, Starwood, and Zenga. iCARS pursues and gears its service to major corporations that do 75,000 to 100,000 trips per year and that would be interested in coming aboard with the iCARS-Limos.com venture. iCARS president Ed Silver will oversee combined operations.
For the 1,000 operators already signed up with Limos.com, it’s business as usual, Bauer said, except they will have more opportunities for leads coming from iCARS, which before the merger, had access to a network of 6,000 limousine fleet vehicles.
“We’re picking up major corporate accounts to drive business to small and medium size operators,” Bauer said. “You don’t have to be one of the top five operators to get work from these large companies.”
In addition to technical integration, iCARS will combine the companies’ vetting and background check procedures into one streamlined process that includes the best features of both companies. Unlike TNCs, iCARS only works with legal, licensed, commercially insured, and driver background checked limousine service vehicles.
“We want to assure that if a client of an operator gets into someone else’s vehicle, it’s the same quality and caliber they offer,” Bauer said. “We’re about offering a quality, high-end experience.”
On the iCARS platform, the compensation splits 85% for operator-partners, and 15% for iCARS.
Interested operators who would like to participate or get more information should contact email@example.com.