Tech Pitch: Minicabster
Minicab booking app founder Brooke Pursey takes our tech start-up quickfire round
Company name: Minicabster
Founders: Brooke Pursey (32) David Buttress (39)
Background: Brooke Pursey moved from estate agency to catering, and then property development. David Buttress started at Coca-Cola Enterprises, held senior sales roles, before joining JUST EAT, where he is now group CEO.
Based in: Harrow, London
Very simply, what does your tech start-up do?
- Minicabster allows people to compare quotes from licensed cab companies in their area, and then book by card or cash with a tap of a button. All of this happens instantly
- Choose a cab company by star rating or price. All are reliable, punctual and safe
- No need for long conversations over the phone – a cab can be ordered in a matter of seconds
Tell us why there’s a need – what do you disrupt?
We disrupt the traditional way of booking minicabs, making it truly mobile. We bring tech to the local minicab operators, and give them a new channel of bringing in business to keep their drivers on the road and earning money.
For customers, we give them one app they can use anywhere in London, Birmingham or Manchester – with no need for a new app or to find local cab phone numbers. Customers also receive exclusive deals and promotions, meaning minicab journeys can be cheaper than ever before.
Are you funded?
Yes – we closed a £2m round at the end of 2013 from a number of angel investors including David Buttress, CEO of take-out marketplace JUST EAT, Daniel McPherson, founder of Launcha, and Tom Singh OBE, founder of New Look.
What were you doing before starting?
Brooke Pursey: My start to life as an entrepreneur was more humble than most start-up CEOS. I was ambitious and hungry to run something on my own from a young age. My entrepreneurial career began with my own catering business where I was placing food vans in high footfall locations, and then I spent 18 months spread betting in order to raise funds to start buying, selling, and developing properties. I founded Minicabster in 2011.
David Buttress: David has an Honors degree in Law & Business and started his career with Coca-Cola Enterprises at the start of 1998. During his time at Coca-Cola he had a variety of senior sales roles before moving into the internet world with JUST EAT. He won the prestigious Account Manager of the Year award when he was managing the key national restaurant customers in the UK for Coca-Cola. David is now CEO of JUST EAT.
What the best thing about where you’re based?
We’re based in Harrow, North West London. We’re about 25-30 minutes from central London, which is great for attracting talent to the business. For any start-up in London, there’s a vibrant community where you can learn things from each other.
Building a website for your business idea is easier than you might think. Our online tool ranks the top website builders that offer free trials.
I have lots of friends working in and around the UK start-up scene so you build up a network of like-minded people in the same boat as you or who have experienced similar things. That can be a massive help.
The good part about being based just outside the capital is obviously the cost. Harrow is cheap so we’re able to put more into driving the business forward.