Gett reportedly negotiating $250 million acquisition of Juno

Gett reportedly negotiating $250 million acquisition of Juno

Move would help the two Israeli transportation companies compete with rivals Uber and Lyft in New York City

Luke Tress is a video journalist and tech reporter for the Times of Israel

A GetTaxi vehicle in Tel Aviv. (Courtesy)
A GetTaxi vehicle in Tel Aviv. (Courtesy)

The Israeli ride-sharing company Gett is reportedly in talks to acquire Juno, another Israel-based transportation app, for $250 million, according to TechCrunch.

The move would help the two companies compete with the much larger Uber, which has been plagued by scandals recently, and Lyft, in the ultra-competitive New York City transportation market.

Gett, formerly called GetTaxi, defines itself as an on-demand mobility company, and offers ride-hailing services in more than 80 cities around the world, including London, Moscow and New York. The taxi app Juno is only active in New York City. Uber offers service in hundreds of cities worldwide and is reportedly worth $60 billion, while Lyft is available in dozens of US cities.

Uber has been rocked by scandals and bad press in recent months, including accusations of sexism in the workplace, mistreatment of drivers, abusive behavior by CEO Travis Kalanick and belligerent business practices, including reportedly dispatching employees to order and cancel thousands of rides from Lyft drivers.

Uber’s competitors see an opening to exploit the company’s recent problems. The acquisition of Juno by Gett could put the companies in better standing and help it compete with Uber in New York City, although Uber still controls an overwhelming majority of the international market.

Juno was founded in 2016 by CEO Talmon Marco, creator of the communication app Viber, which was sold to Japanese electronic commerce and internet company Rakuten for $900 million in 2014, at the time the biggest-ever buyout of an Israeli tech company by an Asian firm.

Juno positioned itself from the beginning as a friendlier alternative to Uber, which was already notorious for its poor treatment of drivers. Its tagline is “Juno treats drivers better, drivers treat you better.” The company, with offices in Israel, New York and Europe, provides 24/7 support for drivers and customers, takes a lower commission from drivers than its competitors, according to the company’s website, and offers its drivers shares in the company.

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