PRIVATE HIRE price comparison and booking app Minicabster, which raised £2million in funding since it was launched in 2011, has gone into adminstration.
According to a regulatory filing, administrators Elwell Watchorn & Saxton, were appointed at the end of February to try and sell the business as a going concern.
A buyer could not be found however and Transport Innovation, which runs the UGO Freephone cab service, made an offer for some of Minicabster’s technical assets, as well, as it is believed, its customer database.
Transport Innovation CEO Paul Murray confirmed that the company had bought the “technical assets” but declined to provide any further financial details. He did add however, “We are considering our strategic options.”
Minicabster director Irshad Khan said: “Minicabster was part of a sale process, which was completed recently.”
When asked why the company had gone into administration, Mr Khan said:
The minicab market is becoming extremely tough, with the increased costs towards the acquisition of customers.
He added that there were also problems with attracting and retaining quality drivers. It is believed that minicab drivers were happy to drive for Minicabster from Monday to Thursday but would switch to Uber at the weekend because their job rates were a lot higher.
This apparently created the problem whereby demand outstripped supply and there were issues in maintaining service levels.
Mr Khan, who has just launched coach booking app CoachScanner, added: “Going forward, I see minicab operators and other minicab apps facing testing times as Uber spend more to gain market share.”