Ride-hailing startup Gett which operates in New York City under the Juno brand raised another $80 million earlier this week and is now valued at $1.4 billion. All of the firm's largest investors participated in the latest round that likely isn't its last even as the company is now closing in on profitability and expects its bottom line to enter the black across all markets in which it's currently present in the first quarter of 2019, according to its founder and Chief Executive Officer Dave (Shahar) Waiser. The ambition comes with a major caveat – Gett isn't counting a significant portion of its research and development expenses as part of its profitability target, meaning it's pursuing the same line of thinking its much larger rival Uber is employing – it could be profitable but is choosing not to as it prioritizes growth and innovation over near-term returns.
The technology unicorn raised approximately $700 since being established in 2010, with German auto giant Volkswagen investing some $300 million into the firm by itself. Gett is currently present in more than 120 cities across the globe, with its annual sales being over $1 billion, half of which is attributed to New York City and London alone. The former has been highlighted as the company's fastest-growing market, with over half of its 90,000 drivers operating in NYC. Gett has yet to signal any concrete ambitions to go public but the fact that it's now on the verge of profitability despite continued R&D commitments indicates it may soon be in a healthy enough state for an initial public offering.
The global ride-hailing market is still growing at a consistent pace but some investors and analysts are becoming skeptical about its long-term financial prospects, being worries that aggressive subsidies and growth hacks formed a tech bubble and that not even the likes of Uber and Lyft can realistically deliver on all of their ambitious goals. Diversification appears to be the latest trend in the industry that's meant to reinvigorate investor optimism, with some of the largest players in the world now looking toward electric bike rentals, boat-hailing services, and flying taxis in a bid to challenge the very concept of mobility, both urban and otherwise.