A Mercedes-backed taxi startup that's raised $200 million wants to launch in London but it can't get the green light from TfL

Oct 10, 2017 · businessinsider.com

Londonviaapp

Via, an Israeli-founded taxi app that's raised a reported $200 million (£152 million) from the likes of Mercedes-Benz, is ready to launch in London.

The Uber rival has hired a team of people and contacted thousands of drivers about working for the platform.

But the company is struggling to get an operating licence from Transport for London (TfL), which has been busy deciding whether to renew Uber's licence over the last few months. It decided not to renew it on September 22.

Luca Parducci, Via's general manager in London, told Business Insider: "We applied five months ago in April. Usually the application process takes eight weeks maximum. We had no indication that it would take longer than that.

"So we went through the whole process and started recruiting a team, which I'm part of, opened an office, started registering the interest of thousands of drivers that can't wait to work with us," continued Parducci, a former executive at travel booking website HotelTonight.

"In the process with TfL, we've provided additional information on our product, our company, our processes, and basically answers to all the questions that they had. Now we're basically ready to start. We're only missing the approval and licence from TfL."

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