Ride-hailing start-up Karhoo closes down

Daniel Ishag, founder of Karhoo, a ride-booking app that will be launched in Singapore, New York and London early in 2016.
PHOTO: The Business Times

KARHOO, the start-up which had set its sights on overtaking ride-hailing app giant Uber, has crashed and burned.

The company has informed employees worldwide that it will close down after starting up a year ago.

"It is with much regret that we have to announce that Karhoo has had to close its service and is now looking at the next steps for the business," a company statement obtained by The Straits Times read.

"Karhoo staff around the world in London, New York, Singapore and Tel Aviv have, over the past 18 months, worked tirelessly to make Karhoo a success. Many of them have worked unpaid for the last six weeks in an effort to get the business to a better place," it added.

"Unfortunately, by the time the new management team took control last week, it was clear that the financial situation was pretty dire, and Karhoo was not able to find a backer."

The Straits Times understands investors who had reportedly poured more than US$250 million (S$347.7 million) into the venture will be suing to get their money back - a wake-up call to the other app providers which are still in the red.

Karhoo was founded by British entrepreneur Daniel Ishag, 42, last year. It targeted to launch in Singapore by the first quarter of this year but has yet to do so.

No one in its Singapore office in Club Street would comment on the sudden closure.

 

christan@sph.com.sg


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