Israel’s Gett secures $100m loan from Russian bank

Financial cooperation with Sberbank aims to help the ridesharing startup expand its business and M&A activities

Shoshanna Solomon is The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

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

Israel ridesharing startup Gett said on Wednesday it secured a $100 million, seven-year loan from Russia’s Sberbank..

The money raised will be used to finance the company’s business and its mergers and acquisitions activities, Gett said in a statement, adding that the deal expands on its existing relationship with the bank in a number of areas.

“After signing a few months ago a strategic partnership with the Volkswagen group, a leading car manufacturer, we now continue with a strategic financial cooperation with Russia’s leading bank,” Shahar Waiser, Gett founder and CEO, said in a statement. “These cooperations will enable Gett to strengthen its position as a major player in its field in Europe.”

The money raised comes as competition in the ridesharing market is heating up and as companies strive to be the first to launch self-driving cars on demand.

Waiser said earlier this year that the Israeli startup expects revenue to “be more than $1 billion” by next year and hopes to “have the privilege to be the first to launch” self-driving cars-on-demand.

In May, German auto giant Volkswagen made a $300 million investment in Gett, which has a presence in more than 100 cities worldwide including London, Moscow, New York and Tel Aviv. More than half of London’s black cabs run on Gett today. The company has raised a total of more than $640 million to date, according to the statement.

Igor Bulantsev, acting head of Sberbank’s corporate and investment banking business, said the deal was “especially important” for the strategy of the bank. The lender aims to work closely with entrepreneurs by financing growth companies and becoming their partner at a relatively early stage of their development. The venture loan is a first for the bank, the statement said.

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