Flywheel Raises $12 Million in Series C Funding in Rapid Expansion
Company welcomes new CEO Rakesh Mathur to focus on customer service, expansion and growth
Redwood City, CA -- November 20, 2014 -- Flywheel, the consumer-focused taxi app company, announced today that it raised $12 million in Series C funding and named a new executive team led by CEO Rakesh Mathur. The funding from TCW/Craton, Rockport Capital and Shasta Ventures, combined with Rakesh’s extensive consumer technology experience, will further accelerate Flywheel’s already impressive growth and allow the company to bring taxis across the nation onto its mobile platform.
Flywheel launched its industry-leading mobile platform in 2013. For consumers, the Flywheel mobile app offers fast, safe and inexpensive taxi rides on demand from high-quality vetted and licensed drivers. For drivers, Flywheel offers the world’s fastest growing passenger acquisition channel exclusively focused on taxis. Unlike Uber and its clones, Flywheel drivers are certified by law enforcement to be safe, never charge mandatory surge pricing, and know the streets of the city they operate in to save passengers time and money.
Flywheel is particularly dominant in San Francisco -- over 80 percent of taxis in the city use Flywheel. The company has partnered with the majority of the city’s taxi companies to build a brand that has become known for a fast, high-quality transportation experience.
Rakesh Mathur, Flywheel’s new CEO, is a consumer technology entrepreneur who has consistently built and scaled companies that are recognized as landmark, game-changing ventures. Rakesh co-founded and served as CEO of Junglee, which was acquired by Amazon during the early days of e-commerce. Since then, he has founded and mentored innovative startups that operate at significant scale -- like India’s Webaroo, which is the world’s largest SMS platform serving 60 million users -- and companies whose technologies are now part of OpenTable and Dropbox.
“I look forward to bringing Flywheel to consumers across the country, connecting anyone who needs a ride with a high-quality taxi driver who shares our uncompromising standard for customer delight,” said Rakesh. “The speed, safety and reliability of the taxi community combined with Flywheel’s ability to provide rides quickly has created a compelling alternative to Uber in San Francisco. We look forward to sharing this offering with taxi fleets across the nation while promoting an equal opportunity culture that rewards the honest, hard working drivers that Uber has vilified.”
Rakesh is joined by new CFO Oneal Bhambani. Oneal is concurrently a partner at TCW/Craton, part of TCW, an investment firm majority owned by The Carlyle Group with over $150 billion of assets under management. He previously served as a director at Riverwood Capital, a globally focused technology private equity firm.
“TCW is excited to partner with Rakesh and the Flywheel team in the company’s next phase of growth,” said Oneal. “We’re looking forward to helping the company replicate the overwhelming success they’ve had in San Francisco to increase taxi utilization across the nation.”
Flywheel also adds to its executive team Percy Rajani as CTO. Rajani previously served as CTO of Humin, and founded TenFold, an application development company, as well as Seer, an industry leader in financial services enterprise software. He started his career at Bell Labs, where he founded CommVault, now a public company.
Along with Rockport Capital’s Abe Yokell and Shasta Ventures’ Rob Coneybeer, Rakesh and Oneal will serve on the company’s board of directors.
To download the Flywheel app, visit the Apple App Store or Android Google Play Store, and follow Flywheel on Twitter @FlywheelNow.
Headquartered in Redwood City, Flywheel is a mobile platform for the taxi industry that connects passengers with licensed, high quality drivers. The Flywheel mobile app allows passengers to order taxi rides in real-time, track arrival via GPS and automatically pay their fare via their smartphone device.
For more information about Flywheel, visit: http://www.flywheel.com.
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