CEO & Founder
The Story Behind iCabbi
Back in June 2009, Gavan Walsh was on holidays in Portugal with his girlfriend. One day they went out walking and got lost in a very remote area. What they would have done to get a taxi back to the villa, but they had no taxi numbers and there was nobody around to ask!
An idea struck Gavan during the ordeal, that it would be cool to be able to see live taxis on his iphone and then to be able to book one without having to speak to anyone. He got really excited about this concept and the day he got back from holidays he started working on putting a team together that could turn this idea into a reality.
First he needed a good developer. Niall O'Callaghan was a friend's brother who had a reputation as a highly skilled developer that would deliver on a complex project. When approached with the concept, he immediately saw the opportunity and joined the team. Over the coming months, as the business started to grow, the guys realised that they needed help in planning and strategy. Bob Nixon, a good friend of Gavan's liked the concept and was eager to get involved so when approached, he joined, forming the core team of the business as it still stands today.
The launch of iCabbi as a consumer brand combined a PR campaign telling the people of Dublin of a new way to book your taxi. "Don't take a taxi, take an iCabbi!" and also the release of a short video that endeavoured to go viral. Don't forget that this was back in 2010 and taxi apps were only new to the market and quite innovative.
Although the original focus of the business was B2C, creating a direct link between independent taxi drivers and consumers, when a small 30 car taxi company approached the guys asking to adapt the technology into a basic dispatch system, it quickly became apparent that this is where the opportunity lay, as a B2B business, supplying revolutionary taxi dispatch software to taxi companies. Over the next 24 months, the team grew and focused on working with bigger and bigger taxi companies each time. Learning from the experts and this is where their much used motto comes from, "Built with Taxi companies for Taxi companies"
With the team now compromising of 30 highly dedicated, skilled individuals the future looks bright. The global taxi industry is in a major state of transition and currently with the most advanced cloud based system on the market, the iCabbi team are highly motivated and enthusiastic to capitalise on this gaping opportunity.The business was initially funded by the founders with help from family and friends, but has since received investment from a selection of Ireland's premier funding sources, Enterprise Ireland, AIB Seed Fund and also a group of technology investors that are part of Bloom Equity group.