Marcou Transportation Group, the parent company of chauffeured transportation providers Dav El and BostonCoach, has acquired the executive-car service and technology platform GroundLink, as well as Limo Anywhere, which provides limousine industry software. The terms of the deals were not disclosed.
GroundLink, which was founded in 2003, operates a technology-driven network of point-to-point and airport car services in many major cities, both domestically and internationally. Cars can be booked online, via phone or by using the company's app, and all drivers are fully licensed, registered, vetted and screened.
MTG will capitalize on GroundLink's technology to develop an on-demand platform, to better compete with sharing-economy services such as Uber and Lyft.
The simultaneous acquisition of Limo Anywhere, which provides software to the global limousine industry, gives MTG a worldwide stable of developers, as well as the ability to upgrade and maintain the technology already driving the businesses of thousands of limo operators around the world.
"Our acquisition of these separate and unique technology platforms is a game changer for the industry," said Scott Solombrino, president and CEO of Dav El and Boston Coach. "These companies provide us the opportunity to directly compete with the transportation network companies [e.g., Uber and Lyft] as they try to infiltrate the corporate travel market, and will allow the industry to compete in the on-demand market faster than originally anticipated. The implementation of auto dispatch and geospatial pricing can now be integrated into our already existing product to roll out the industry's first on-demand service in the corporate market."
Solombrino, who also serves as Allied Leadership Council president of the Global Business Travel Association, has stated repeatedly over the past several years that his company was developing proprietary technology to compete directly with the shared-economy services.
GroundLink CEO Liz Carisone and Limo Anywhere president Mark Gentry will remain in their current roles; Limo Anywhere will remain independent and separate from MTG's chauffeured car operations.
Meanwhile, MTG's car-service network will become available to book via the GroundLink distribution channel. "We are thrilled to have a strategic investor that will help to advance the technology on our existing platforms," said Carisone.