Nathaniel Rothschild, whose
ancestor helped bankroll Britain’s war against Napoleonic France
200 years ago, is backing London cabbies in their battle against
Uber Technologies Inc.
Rothschild and 39-year-old Argentine Gabriel Campos, former
chief executive officer of online gaming site Pokerstars, plan
to launch a taxi-sharing mobile-phone app in the next few weeks.
Maaxi Ltd. aims to make traditional black cabs cheaper than
public transport by grouping passengers with similar
destinations, Campos said in a Sept. 23 phone interview.
Investors are pouring cash into apps that let customers
order taxis and cars, or share rides using their smartphones.
Uber, which is available in more than 150 cities in 45
countries, raised $1.2 billion in June, giving the San
Francisco-based company a value of $17 billion. Ride-sharing app
Lyft Inc. raised $250 million from investors including Alibaba
Group Holding Ltd. in April.
The investment by Rothschild, who joins Campos as the
company’s major shareholder, comes after the financier took a
sabbatical to finish a master’s degree at King’s College London.
Rothschild, 43, has used video and Twitter to market Maaxi
as an alternative to car services such as Uber, which triggered
protests by London cabbies who say the car-sharing service