Karhoo who? Uber challenger shuts down after burning through $250m

Taxi for the taxi app, please

Burning money, photo via Shutterstock

Uber rival Karhoo has confirmed it is pulling the plug on its taxi app following reports that it had burned through the best part of $250m in venture capital dosh.

The company said in a statement posted on its website:

It is with much regret that we have to announce that Karhoo has had to close its service and is now looking at the next steps for the business. The Karhoo staff around the world in London, New York, Singapore and Tel Aviv have, over the past 18 months, worked tirelessly to make Karhoo a success. Many of them have worked unpaid for the last six weeks in an effort to get the business to a better place. Unfortunately, by the time the new management team took control last week, it was clear that the financial situation was pretty dire, and Karhoo was not able to find a backer. We would like to thank our staff, our partners, the fleets around the world that shared our vision, and the hundreds of thousands of people who downloaded the app and supported what we were trying to do. The world needs a Karhoo.

Earlier this morning Sky News reported that Karhoo was "on the brink" of administration.

Work was reportedly under way to find a new financial backer but evidently this didn't work. An internal memo quoted by Sky News said in part: "The key discussion points have been around providing him with reassurances about the state of the business, as he is being asked to invest money today with no due diligence done."

Funnily enough, after begging an anonymous potential investor to fling money into a giant chasm, Karhoo said it was all over at half past ten this morning. The firm's R&D centre in Israel has already put all of its employees at risk of redundancy.

Karhoo was founded by British entrepreneur Daniel Ishag but was based in New York. It had four offices – in London, New York, Singapore and Tel Aviv.

The Register has asked Karhoo for comment and will update this story if we hear back from them. ®

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