The ride-hailing space just got smaller. Gett, a Tel Aviv-based ride-hailing company, has acquired New York-based ride-hailing startup Juno for $200 million, the company said Wednesday. Juno, co-founded by Talmon Marco, the former chief executive of Viber, had made headlines for its model that offered drivers equity in the company and purported to take a lower commission from its drivers’ fares. Gett received a $300 million strategic investment from Volkswagen Group VOW, -0.04%   in May 2016. At the time, the funding round brought Gett’s total funding to $520 million. Gett launched in London and its cars are now available in 100 cities across the U.S., the United Kingdom, Russia and Israel.
But it is still up against two hefty competitors: Uber commands a $68 billion valuation with $12.9 billion in funding, and Lyft was last valued at $7.5 billion with $2.6 billion in funding, according to the Wall Street Journal. Unlike Uber and Lyft, Gett does not use surge pricing. It also includes a tipping option in its app, unlike Uber. Still, after Juno billed itself as the driver-friendly alternative and offered equity in the company, drivers were not happy with the acquisition and uncertainty over what would happen with their restricted stock units. “This latest bait-and-switch underscores the need for industry-wide protections to ensure a living wage for drivers in the face of deceptive tactics, empty promises and manipulation from ride-hail apps,” said Ryan Price, executive director of the Independent Drivers Guild, which represents 50,000 ride-hailing drivers in New York.  

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