Watch out Uber, the cab hailing app Hailo is hot on your heels in New York City with a new $30 million funding round, reports All Things D. This new round values the London-based company at $140 million, multiple sources tell All Things D, with the lead investor likely being Union Square Venture’s Fred Wilson.
Hailo raised $17 million in a first round from Accel Partners, Wellington Partners, and Atomico in March. The company offers apps that connect cab drivers with passengers. For cab drivers, it’s a way to fill in potential downtime, and for passengers it’s a way to get cheaper cabs just as easily as Uber’s expensive on-demand town cars.
“The taxi market is the quintessential mobile app. You’re mobile, they’re mobile,” Hailo co-founder and chief executive Jay Bregman told VentureBeat earlier this year. “No one has been able to make big networks of cabs without having the customers. [Drivers are] using this [app] even when there aren’t any customers because the app helps them.”
Now that NYC has adopted an e-hail pilot program for taxi apps, it makes sense for Hailo to focus it’s energy there (and expect all of its competitors to step up their game as well). The company covered 15 percent of London’s cabs back in March, and it’s already launched in Boston and Chicago. While Uber is well-suited to fixing San Francisco’s hellish taxi ecosystem, Hailo’s strategy of empowering existing cabs, and working directly with drivers, could help it fit in better in NYC. Filed under: Business, Deals, Mobile, VentureBeat
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Pakorn Peetathawatchai, President, The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET)
What measures has SET taken to support listed companies’ compliance with ESG standards?
PAKORN: When we first began promoting ESG-compliant investments, we were met with little interest. We attributed this to a lack of clear data to showcase the economic benefits of ESG investment, and perhaps limited clarity as to what constitutes a sustainable or ESG-compliant investment. The launch of the THSI list and, subsequently, the SETTHSI Index, was designed to address this. Our most recent data, comparing returns for the SETTHSI Index with the broader SET and SET100 indices from April 2020 to April 2021, underscores the economic benefits of these investments: the group compliant with ESG standards outperformed the other two indices on every data point.
As of May 2021 Thailand was home to CG and ESG assets under management totalling BT54.8bn ($1.7bn) across 50 funds – up from 23 funds in 2019. Meanwhile, of the BT187.1bn ($5.9bn) raised in green, social and sustainability bonds since 2018, BT136.4bn ($4.3bn) was raised in 2020 – 83% from the government and the remainder from development banks and private players. This rising demand, in a move to manage risk and generate returns, has been complemented by growing supply and promotion: supply from ESG-compliant businesses aiming for resiliency and sustainable growth, as well as promotion from regulators highlighting investment opportunities with good CG and SD practices. Indeed, the pandemic has been a catalyst in shifting the view of ESG compliance from a luxury to a requirement in the new normal.
In what ways can enhanced standard-setting and regulatory mechanisms overcome the remaining barriers to improved ESG performance?
PAKORN: A multi-stakeholder approach is crucial for enhanced ESG performance – not only in Thailand, but around much of the globe. This can also help to address the standout incumbent challenge: access to reliable, wide-ranging ESG data. For example, the 2020 update to the 56-1 One Report established clear ESG standards and triggered online and offline capacity-building programmes to support listed firms’ compliance. SET is developing an ESG data platform with a structured template to promote the availability of comparable data, maximise value added from corporate sustainability disclosures, and foster collaboration between the business value chain and stakeholders. This is expected to support Thai companies along their ESG journey in an economically sustainable way, result in a greater number of sustainability-focused products and services, drive sustainable investing in the Thai investment community and ultimately “make the capital market work for everyone”, as outlined in the SET’s vision.
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