Addison Lee has acquired a New York-based taxi platform in the latest US expansion plans for the minicab firm beyond its home turf of London.
The deal to buy black car service Tandem Technologies from transport operator Transdev will see the launch of the Addison Lee brand in the states for the first time, as it targets a share of the $2bn a year industry in the city.
The cab company backed by private equity firm Carlyle already operates the chauffeur service Flyte Tyme in New York, which it acquired earlier this year, and Tristar, which it bought in 2016, generating $100m in revenues between them across the country.
The Tandem Technologies platform in the US will become Addison Lee by the end of October with its own fleet available to be booked alongside other car services, giving it access to Tandem's existing corporate customer base.
Airport chauffeur service Flyte Tyme will be rebranded under the Addison Lee name and added to the platform while Tristar will remain separate.
The minicab firm has operated in the US with affiliates previously, but it's the first time someone in London will be able to book a car for when they arrive in New York City and be greeted by one of Addison Lee's own fleet. It initially plans to double its current fleet of 500 cars in the coming months.
The firm has taken a more cautious approach than it originally intended when it announced plans to launch in the Big Apple last year, instead using the acquisitions to gain a foothold in the market as a first step.
Chief executive Andy Boland said the expansion was driven by demand from its corporate customers across businesses such as investment banking, professional services and law firms in London. It counts 80 per cent of the FTSE 100 as customers.
He said it was expecting "healthy organic growth" but did not disclose goals for revenue: "We shall see, but we're pretty optimistic."
The firm is seeking to distinguish itself from the competition brought by Uber, eyeing the business to business side rather than direct to consumer with its "end-to-end" service and support for customers.
"We're profitable and have own fleet. We're asset heavy but making money, That distinguishes us," he also noted. "We've been working hard to grow the business and have seen good growth and momentum in what's a competitive market," he added.