Davide Machado, founder, Splitcab
Our ethos has always been to build sustainable, profitable businesses that provide quality, economically priced services to our passengers without burning through investment cash.
Quote from Davide Machado, founder of Splitcab, in an article on PhocusWire this week on startups in the mega-funded ground transportation space.
Each Friday, PhocusWire dissects and debates an industry trend or new development covered on our site that week.
It is somewhat ironic that an interview on PhocusWire about the process behind bootstrapping a ground transportation service came the day before a fairly momentous day for the ride-hailing sector.
U.K.-based Splitcab is arguably at the opposite end of the spectrum compared to Lyft - a company that makes its debut today on the Nasdaq financial trading floor.
Lyft's IPO is expected to value the company in the region of $24 billion. It has raised close to $5 billion in investment capital.
And, still, as many commentators have been eager to note and is a point well-known, Lyft is as-yet unprofitable.
The company's decision to move to the financial markets will not be in isolation - archrival Uber's own IPO is expected soon and will come in with a forecast $120 billion valuation.
As Splitcab's founder says, when asked whether it would have been keen to follow the mega-investment path: "Funding or expansion for the sake of it is not something that we would look to do."
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There's nothing to say that the heavily funded startups in ground transportation or elsewhere in the industry have gone down that route for the sake of it.
They did so because they had the opportunity - goals that were given to them by investors that allowed them to expand and push their businesses to the limits.
There will, of course, be the usual hoopla that often comes from the tech community when one of its own reaches the public financial markets.
But spare a thought for those that have taken a different route, like Splitcab and hundreds of others.
They have found themselves in a position - through either failed attempts at investment or a deliberate strategy - where they concentrate on steady growth and financial prudence.
Whether the large players are considered "smart" or not (let's face it, investors, staff, founders and the tech IPO cheerleaders will be thrilled at Lyft's arrival on Wall Street), there are plenty of reasons to applaud other businesses that have focused on modest ambitions and living within their means.
There are, in short, other ways to operate a travel startup.
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