Almost 7 years ago, Mihai Rotaru and Alexandru Dumitru were starting a new project during the first ever Startup Weekend event organised in Romania. The project would become CleverTaxi – launched in 2011 in partnership with Orange as an aggregator of taxi services accessible via the CleverTaxi mobile app.
Backed by Andrei Pitis as an early investor and technical expert, the company started to grow. In 2013 it introduced the now famous command desks at the Otopeni Airport, then in 2014 raised an undisclosed round from Neogen / Calin Fusu.
But competition grew significantly. Meridian Taxi and Speed Taxi developed their own apps and command desks in 2013, and in 2014 Uber was launched in Romania. Not many people were confident that CleverTaxi, who scaled in 20 cities in Romania, would become a success story.
Until last week, when CleverTaxi was acquired by Daimler through their subsidiary My Taxi (which previously has acquired Hailo), in a $10m+ acquisition for a company with reported $400k in revenue and $25k net profit in 2016.