UberCab, an iPhone application that helps you call for a private driver, has raised $1.25 million from well-known backers — including “super angel” Chris Sacca, who previously tweeted about liking the service.
The application is aimed at folks who are tired of waiting for taxis. In San Francisco, at least, it seems that I can never find one when I need one, and when I call a cab company, things don’t go much better. I usually have to wait several minutes just to get through, then the wait for the cab can last anywhere from 5 to 35 minutes. (As someone who’s constantly running late, I call cabs a lot, and the unpredictability just kills me.)
With UberCab, you can see drivers using the app on a map, then call for a pickup. Since you can see their location, you never have to wonder where a cab is. The service charges a set rate for the distance traveled, and you just pay using your credit card (which has been saved in the UberCab app), and the tip is included. Both the driver and the passenger can rate each other when the experience is over.
There are mobile taxi apps, such as Cabulous, that also try to connect passengers and drivers, but UberCab brings you a nicer car, and the San Francisco company estimates it only costs about 50 percent more than a normal cab.
First Round Capital led the investment, with participation from Sacca’s firm Lowercase Capital and the Founder Collective. TechCrunch first reported the funding, and chief executive Ryan Graves confirmed the details to me over email.
UberCab is currently testing its service in San Francisco.
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Companies: First Round Capital, Founders Collective, Lowercase Capital, UberCab
People: Chris Sacca, Ryan Graves