Renault saw a 'sudden opportunity' to acquire failed taxi startup Karhoo

Wikimedia/BevoptKarhoo founder Daniel Ishag.

French carmaker Renault has bought failed taxi startup Karhoo out of administration, TechCrunch first reported on Thursday.

According to an announcement on the website of RCI Bank and Services, Renault’s financial services division, the automotive giant paid an undisclosed fee for Flit Technologies Ltd, which acquired the assets of Karhoo after it went into administration last November.

Karhoo, which was one of the biggest UK startup failures of 2016, built an app that allowed users to compare taxi prices and times across a variety of online platforms without having to to switch between apps.

RCI Bank and Services said that it will be able to use Karhoo’s technology “as part of its activities for the brands of the Renault-Nissan Alliance.”

Founded in 2014, Karhoo claimed to have raised a huge $250 million (£202 million) from investors and just three after launching it was saying that it was bigger than Uber.

KarhooKarhooThe Karhoo app.

But the company, which employed between 180 and 200 staff across London, Israel, New York, and Singapore, burnt through cash at a phenomenal rate in a bid to grow its user base, with several customers claiming they received in free rides worth in excess of £100.

The new Karhoo app will be relaunched by former Karhoo employees Boris Pilichowski and Nicolas Andine as co-CEOs, according to TechCrunch.

The pair took over the running of the business shortly before it shut down from founder Daniel Ishag — who spent money on First Class flights, Vegas blowouts, and Cuban cigars in the lead up to Karhoo’s demise, according to Bloomberg.

It will reportedly be brought back online in some shape or form at a currently unspecified date this year.

Gianluca De Ficchy, CEO of RCI Bank and Services, said in a statement: “The acquisition of the startup Karhoo appeared as a sudden opportunity that we did not want to miss and the acquisition was completed rapidly.

“We have met the highly-motivated teams, and I have every confidence in Karhoo’s business model; it is innovative and underpinned by a first-class technological platform. We will also be able to capitalise on this platform as part of our activities for the Alliance brands.”

RCI Bank and Services did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

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