London’s black cabs already have massive competition from Uber, but soon they’ll face another threat – this time from Mercedes. Daimler, Mercedes’ parent brand, has announced a ride-sharing project that will take place in the capital.
The ride-sharing service is a joint project with Dutch startup Via, a company that already has around one million combined rides a month across other US cities. Now Via is going to expand into the rest of Europe, starting with London but planning to soon set up ride-sharing services in other European cities. Via needs to raise around $200 million to fund its expansion, and it’s not yet clear how much Daimler will contribute to that. According to Bloomberg, Mercedes-Benz Vans will contribute $50 million to the new partnership, but no other details are known.
“On-demand ride-sharing offers many new ways of making city traffic efficient, needs-based and sustainable,” said Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. “Via is one of the most successful providers in the growing ride-sharing sector while Mercedes-Benz Vans has the perfect vehicles.”