Ride hailing firm Gett raises $80 million from VW, others

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Israel-based ride hailing app Gett has raised $80 million in a funding round that values the company at $1.4 billion, it said on Thursday.

All of its major shareholders including Volkswagen VOWG_p.DE and Access Industries participated, Gett said in a statement.

Gett has raised more than $700 million in funding, including $300 million from Volkswagen in 2016.

Gett founder and CEO Dave Waiser said the company was expected to become profitable across all the countries where it operates, excluding research and development costs, by the first quarter of 2019.

Volkswagen, Europe’s largest automaker by sales, confirmed it had participated in the latest funding round, but did not give details.

Through its board membership, Volkswagen “will continue to support Gett and its other shareholders in helping Gett to drive its business plan and further develop its future strategy,” the Wolfsburg, Germany-based carmaker said.

New York City, where Gett operates under the Juno brand, is the company’s fastest growing market, with 45,000 drivers having joined Juno, Waiser said. Gett bought U.S. rival Juno for $200 million last year.

Earlier on Thursday, Calcalist, a leading financial daily in Israel, reported that Gett was in the process of raising $350 million. Asked about the Calcalist report on the sidelines of a TechCrunch conference, Waiser declined to comment.

The Gett app lets customers book on-demand rides or pre-book rides for later.

Reporting by Tova Cohen, Ari Rabinovitch, Steven Scheer and Andreas Cremer. Editing by Jane Merriman and Mark Potter