A new Russian transportation startup to compete with the likes of Uber is being launched by Russian capitalists and ad supermen.
Fasten Inc. raised a series of funds from Russian techies, aimed at competing with the famous Uber taxi ride app. The semi-stealth startup called “Fasten” promises some real time transport app fun. The Boston startup backed by Russian super-admen wants to capture the massive revenues generated by the rideshare/taxi apps.
Russia Insider reports:
The under-publicized (or secret) startup wants to beat Uber out of market share by showing riders their fare in real time, plus other differentiations. While not much is known about the new startup, David Harris, the Tech-Editor of the Boston Business Journal, did ferret out regulatory filings for the company. The documents list CEO Kirill Evdakov (formerly creative director at (Rutorika Digital Agency) , Evgeny Lvov, and Roman Levitsky (screen below), Managing Director of South Russia’s biggest creative ad agency Ruport.
I signed up for to be notified at the launch of Fasten and am waiting on that, but from what I can glean here are some highlights of the new app:
1. See nearby drivers and choose your ride
2. No minimum fares – pay only for how far you ride
3. No surprises, the app tracks your charges while you ride
I’ll say this, of the many hundreds of startups I’ve covered over the years, Fasten’s CEO is among the quickest to react to even the slightest social media tweak… he responded to a tweet by going so far as to find my email. Search and discovery is something 1000 Silicon Valley startup gurus are incapacitated by, but apparently the whole team at Fastern is wired to the gills – even Ruport’s ad man Levitsky responds to tweets faster than a TV western gunfighter. I asked Evdavov about timetables and points of differentiation from Uber and other competitors, but he politely insisted Fasten had as soon not release all the beans before time. He also assured my I’d get a pre-release look at the app’s workings as well.
I guess it is not so surprising that the Russian tech and ad scene is engaging in this space, the pro’s and con’s of IPO predictors (Forbes) on Uber are the ideal battleground for VCs and stake investing. 50/50 odds Uber is a blockbuster along the lines of a Facebook dictate the need for viable competitors. And if you are a Russian advertising/tech mogul, just the ride market Uber does not yet have (Europe and Russia) is big enough to send speculative shivers up the spine.
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