Taxi unicorn Gett plans to double the size of its R&D team in Israel this year

Gett CEO Shahar Waiser
Gett founder Shahar Waiser speaks on a panel about building unicorns in Israel. Sam Shead/Business Insider

Israeli taxi company Gett is planning to double the size of its research and development (R&D) team in Tel Aviv before the end of the year, according to Shahar Waiser, the founder and CEO of Gett.

Speaking at the DLD Innovation conference in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, Waiser said he needs to employ more people to ensure Gett’s R&D team is able to capitalise on technologies such as AI, machine learning, and autonomous vehicles.

Gett, whose app allows people to hail a taxi in the same way that Uber’s does, has offices in Israel, the US, the UK, and Russia. All of the R&D, however, takes place in Israel.

“Our R&D centre doubled in size last year and it will double again this year,” said Waiser, adding that the company employs about 1,000 people worldwide. “I’m really happy we have an opportunity to work with the best scientists and developers in Israel.”

Following up with Business Insider after Waiser’s panel, a Gett spokesman said: “We plan on growing our R&D team in Israel to more than 200 by the end of 2016.”

Gett is also planning to open an R&D centre in Russia this month, the spokesman added.

The average age of a Gett employee is 29 years old and the company has revenues that run into hundreds of millions of dollars, said Waiser.

Waiser’s comments were made during a panel called “Building a unicorn in Israel.” The entrepreneur said that Gett became a unicorn, or a startup with a valuation in excess of $1 billion (£770 million), in May, when German automotive giant Volkswagen invested $300 million (£231 million) in the company.

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