Hailo hits the 20 million mark and celebrates with a cuppa

Hailo has hit the 20 million passenger mark and celebrated by turning the back of one of its black cabs into a quintessential British living room.

Related: How Hailo became a successful startup

The company, which was launched in 2011, commissioned an artist to turn the backseat of a black cab into a front room complete with sofa-style seats, a radio, slippers and the morning papers, with tea and cakes served to the passengers upon arrival at Manchester Piccadilly station.

“Hailo is a British start-up success story, and we wanted to thank our customers with something that reflects our roots. What better way than with the quintessential British tradition of a brew and cake? We’re so chuffed to reach 20 million passengers, and love that we could celebrate the milestone in Manchester, the latest city in which we’ve launched,” said Russ Hall, Hailo co-founder.

No fare was charged for the journey and instead Hailo donated £1,000 to the Forever Manchester charity that supports local projects that aim to improve the quality of life in neighbourhoods across Greater Manchester.

Hailo is regarded as one of the most successful startups to come out of London’s Tech City thanks to its fast global growth and the amount of customers it has already served.

Its app, which is available for both iOS and Android, allows customers to call a taxi from wherever they are with just a couple of taps and was created by three black cab drivers.

The service has recently caused consternation amongst London cabbies after it opened itself up as a service for private hire cars as well as black cabs and it came to a head when a fight broke out at Hailo’s London office in May.

Related: Hailo: The secrets behind the Tech City startup’s global success

Hailo then moved earlier this month to give 20 per cent off London black cab journeys between 10:00 and 17:00 on weekdays to trigger yet more growth for the successful startup.