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Hailo gets help from car giant Daimler to take on Uber

With ridesharing services becoming more popular by the day, car makers are starting to take notice. General Motors has already sunk $500 million into Lyft, Volkswagen ploughed $300 million into Gett and Daimler quietly boosted its portfolio when it nabbed MyTaxi and RideScout in 2014. In a bid to expand its presence in Europe, Sky News reports that Daimler — owner of Mercedes-Benz — will today announce a merger between MyTaxi and Hailo as part of a new strategic investment designed to take on Uber.

Over the past two years, Hailo, which rose to prominence as one of the first services to let Londoners hail a black cab, has struggled to compete in a market dominated by Uber. The company launched a private car service, but scaled back its plans following a backlash from black cab drivers, and attempted to crack America ended up pulling out months later.

With a renewed focus on black cabs, Hailo has been seeking a strategic investor. Now it’s found one. The news will please the company’s existing investors, which include entrepreneur Richard Branson and equity firms Accel and Wellington Partners, but the deal will also allow Daimler to court drivers of Hailo and MyTaxi cars, allowing it to supply vehicles to its operators as inner-city car usage declines.

Source: Sky News

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Google mobile search shows 6-second video previews

If you've searched for videos often enough on Google, you've probably had that moment where you tapped the wrong video because you weren't quite sure it was what you were looking for. No more: Google has added 6-second video previews to its mobile search results. As of this week, searches in Android's Google app or Chrome can show you a little bit of what each video entails as you flip through them in an on-screen carousel. The sneak peeks will only appear on WiFi by default and are opt-out, so you don't have to worry about burning through precious cellular data unless you're ready.

Notably, this feature isn't available on desktop right now (or, for that matter, iOS). Google tells our TechCrunch colleagues that it's due to the company's mobile focus. We'd add that mobile users are the ones likely to appreciate it most. Video dominates your phone screen in a way it doesn't on your PC, and you'd likely rather not hop back and forth between screens and apps until you find the video you wanted. It won't be surprising if the feature becomes ubiquitous across Google's search pages, though, as just about everyone can benefit from a quick look at the video they're about to watch.

Via: TechCrunch

Source: Google