Karhoo, the world’s first cab comparison platform which folded spectacularly in November 2016, has been bought out of administration with a new team funded by RCI Bank and Services, the financial services provider for the Groupe Renault brands in the world and for the Nissan Group brands mainly in Europe. RCI Bank and Services operates at the crossroads of three challenging worlds: cars, banking and services.
In the month after the company folded, 40 bids were placed for the company by large global corporates and investment firms from around the world, who all saw the potential in the Karhoo model, IP and contracts with fleets around the world. Flit Technologies Ltd, a new venture funded by RCI Bank and Services, won a competitive auction process that will see the company relaunch this year.
Boris Pilichowski and Nicolas Andine, who where active in the ‘old’ Karhoo, took over as joint CEOs in the last few weeks of the previous company’s existence as they tried to find a buyer, have taken over the same roles at the new company and are recruiting around the world. Karhoo’s demise at the time was mainly ascribed to mismanagement by Daniel Ishag, Karhoo’s founder and CEO. He left the company just before it went bust.
Pilichowski and Andine commented: “There is a need in ground transportation for someone to aggregate all the independents and allow them to compete and we are determined to make sure Karhoo fills that need. Karhoo was amazingly successful in ferrying hundreds of thousands of people around the world but lacked a corporate backer, but with RCI Bank and Services, we now have that.”
Alice Altemaire, Chairman of the Board of Flit Technologies Ltd, Vice President, Accounting and Performance Control of RCI Bank and Services said: “We are very delighted to bring Karhoo back to life and build a new strategic plan with the team over the next months. I was very impressed by the professionalism and enthusiasm of the teams and I’m sure we will soon be back on the market. We will learn from each other. Furthermore, this investment will allow RCI Bank and Services to expand and enrich its offer.
Who is RCI Banque? Created and wholly owned by Groupe Renault, RCI Banque is a French bank specialising in automotive financing and services for Groupe Renault customers and dealer networks (Renault, Renault Samsung Motors and Dacia) throughout the world and the Nissan group (Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun) mainly in Europe, Russia and South America.
With over 3,000 employees, we give our end customer access to automotive mobility through a full range of solutions in financing, insurances and services. For both individuals and companies, our line of conduct is the same: to deliver differentiated competitive solutions for smooth and sustainable access to mobility
In 2016, RCI Banque’s commercial identity has changed to become RCI Bank and Services. As a car-financing activity key player, RCI Bank and Services aims at becoming a bank offering innovative services and car-mobility solutions. The company remains nonetheless incorporated under the RCI Banque SA name
RCI Bank and Services covers 36 countries, on 5 continents, financed over 1.3 million contracts (new and used vehicles) in 2015 and sold more than 2.9 million services. Average loans outstanding stood at €28.6 billion of funding at end-June 2016 and earnings before tax at €844 million at end-December 2015 and €431 million at end-June 2016.
Since 2012 RCI Bank and Services has rolled out a deposits collection business in four countries. At end-June 2016, net deposits collected stood at €11.8 billion, or 34% of the company’s outstandings.
BU: Karhoo is restarting its activities under the wings of Renault Nissan.