By @SimonCocking

Describe the company – the elevator pitch…

Lynk is a taxi tech company that successfully made the transition from a traditional taxi company to a cloud and app Taxi Company. We did this by developing our own taxi app and dispatch system software. Lynk was launched in February 2015 and we developed our app and systems at the time specifically for the Irish market. I believe that ours is the most sophisticated and advanced cloud-based taxi operating system in the world. Recently we formed an international consortium of like-minded individuals and together we further developed the system for the UK and US markets, where the system is being warmly received with 30,000 drivers committed prior to launch. The venture abroad is called Riide.

How are you different?

One of the differences between the new Lynk app, due for release early next year, and other apps is the advanced technology that we use. Our multi-platform system works seamlessly and simultaneously across mobile, desktop and phone. We have all the perks of a taxi app with the added bonus of having a call center facility for urgent matters or complex bookings and of course in the event of ever-more-frequent mobile broadband failures.
Customers also have the option of booking through our fully integrated, online booking engine; this web booker can be accessed through our website on your desktop, laptop or tablet. Very handy for businesses who may need to book multiple taxis at a time and need visibility of all bookings and their status. Another major difference is that our app was developed here in Ireland and was tailored to the needs of the Irish market.

Why does the company / product do well?

Actually, I think it’s the approach we take to our customers. The personal touch. Take, for example, if one of our customers receives an email or a text from us, it is from a real person – not an automated message which was triggered by data analytics programme. There is nothing wrong with analyzing your data – in fact it’s necessary. But you have to keep in mind that your customers are real people depending on you for their transport needs. Lots of app companies forget that! But we don’t.

Also, it has to be the hard work and efforts of the Lynk team and our tech developers who are continually working to advance our app. The team is constantly growing and evolving to keep up with all app developments and trends. But we always remain focused on individual needs. We don’t take a grand approach to the market. We have our B2B customers, who all get individual attention – hence all the staff – and we have our local customers who are all driven by local drivers. This is a unique approach to the market for a company the size of Lynk. It’s the personal touch that counts.

Where are you based?

We are based in City House, Newmarket, Dublin 8. Just a short walk from St Stevens Green.

How do people get in touch with you?

You can call us on 8727272 or the ever popular 8 20 20 20. You can book through the app in just two taps or you can use our web – booker which allows you to book through our webpage.

You can also contact us via this online form

What have been your biggest wins to date?

It’s really been a whirlwind for us so far, we launched just over a year ago and already we’ve made a big impact and a strong reputation for ourselves in the Irish market, particularly in Dublin. However, knowing that we are going break into the UK, USA and Canada in the New Year has to be the biggest win so far for Lynk.

What type of people (market segment) are you trying to attract to your product?

We have 3 very important target markets. Take our drivers first. Without drivers we are nothing. So our product has to be driver friendly, easy to operate yet sophisticated enough to fulfill the driver’s very complex needs. It also has to be robust enough to handle the hundreds of thousands of bookings per month needed by the drivers so that they can make a comfortable living.
In order to service our customers we need to have and maintain a large driver fleet. Service is key in this industry and the more quality drivers we have the better service we can provide.
Next is our B2B clients. This is a very important sector for us because this is an area in which we excel. Nobody beats us at B2B service. We deal with clients who book one or two taxis per week and those who book thousands of taxis per week and our system is so flexible and scalable that we take this in our stride – while at the same time having the management team to maintain the personal attention to detail, which is so important.

Next are our personal clients. Our private customers. We focus heavily on local service. We believe that offering local trusted drivers in local areas is key to building a relationship with our personal customers that is based on trust and reliability. We find that this approach works very well for us and we are experiencing steady growth in this sector for both app and phone bookings – which, incidentally, is still very popular especially our 8 20 20 20 line, which is a favorite of many of our clients from the noughties.

Tell us about your team?

We have a number of offices around the city and our head office in Dublin 8. Our two busiest local offices are in Clondalkin and Tallaght. Altogether we have a team of 90 staff in Lynk but we are a close knit team with years of knowledge in the taxi and taxi tech industry. We work together knowing each other’s strengths and weakness and how to best utilize one another’s skills to get the best results. We are one big family, which in a way sets us aside from other companies – each opinion matters. Among our team we also have a huge fleet of 2500 professional drivers. So as you can imagine our Christmas parties! They can be a lot of fun!

What are you long term plans for your product / company?

Well, through our Riide partners we’re expanding to the UK, US and Canada in the New Year. We are planning a simultaneous expansion across Ireland. If things keep moving the way they have been – the sky is the limit. We have inquiries that we have to examine coming in from huge taxi fleets in India and China. It’s very exciting and we would be hoping to enter these markets late in 2017. Lynk has met or exceeded all targets to date and so I see a number of mergers and acquisitions in 2017. There is also quite a lot of further development of the system planned. The app, when it is launched, will be quite advanced but there is a lot of features that we have yet to develop. These will be either B2B features or personal user features that will enhance the overall Lynk experience. There is also additional development planned that will enhance the drier experience.

What is your favorite tech gadget?

At the moment I’m a big fan of the Surface Pro and its portability. It’s a high speed computer with the shape and weight of a tablet. With WiFi being readily available almost everywhere these days, it basically converts any café into an office and for someone like me who tends to travel a lot for work it’s a God-send.

What tech gadgets do you wish you could use to help you?

This is a ‘big-boys-and-their-big-toys’ question for me. So the answer has to be big tech gadgets – autonomous vehicles. Or should I say, semi-autonomous vehicles. I am loving getting deeper into the area of semi-autonomous vehicles. Much of our system is developed with this in mind. Although there are a number of cities in the world already trialing fully autonomous vehicles, and in fact we are involved in a study of the feasibility of autonomous vehicles in the UK, I believe that we are quite a way from widespread automation, particularly in an old and complex city like Dublin. I have studied the roads system in Dublin and I have identified a number of routes that would suit autonomous taxis very well – and we will consider that when the time comes. But for now, I’m thinking that semi-autonomous, with a focus on crash prevention, is the way forward. Safety and comfort is another key matter for us and I will use technology whenever I can to enhance these key needs.

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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