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Ride-booking startup Juno once billed itself as the “anti-Uber”— a kinder, gentler way to get a ride. It’s now closing down its New York-based operations, and inviting customers to join Lyft Inc.
Juno is owned by Gett Inc., a Tel Aviv, Israel-based ride-booking company that spent $200 million to acquire the business in 2017. In a statement Nov. 18, Gett announced it was shutting down Juno and that it would start a partnership with Lyft, allowing Gett’s corporate clients to access Lyft rides through the Gett app beginning next year.
The company cited “misguided regulations” on ride-booking companies in New York City, as well as an increased focus on Gett’s corporate clients, as reasons to shutter Juno. “This development reinforces Gett’s strategy to build a profitable company focused on the corporate transportation sector, a market worth $1 trillion each year,” Gett Chief Executive Officer Dave Waiser said in a statement.
Once seen as a promising competitor in the crowded New York City ride-booking market, Juno first launched in 2016 by touting itself as the driver-friendly alternative to Uber Technologies Inc. It offered an equity package to drivers, promising them a chance to share in the wealth if the business was successful. But big payouts to drivers did not materialize after Juno’s sale to Gett. Juno drivers will be paid in full for all rides completed by the evening of Nov. 18, the company said.
Gett, most recently valued at $1.5 billion, has so far raised more than $800 million in backing from investors. The company had weighed a sale of Juno last summer.
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