Cabcharge Australia is to buy taxi industry software and services company Mobile Technologies International Pty Ltd (MTI), saying the move will enable it to “fast track the creation of innovative dispatch and payment tools” and increases its ability to compete with other fully integrated personal transport companies.

According to Cabcharge, MTI is a leading global provider of innovative software as a service automotive dispatch and booking technology to the taxi industry with an established presence in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.  The company was founded in Australia but is now headquartered in the USA.

MTI was the taxi dispatch arm of MTData, acquired by Telstra in November 2017 to help it drive IoT growth in Australia and internationally.

Prior to that deal, MTI was demerged into a new entity owned by MTData’s founders Ted Fisher, David Fisher and Matthew Bellizia, who will remain as chairman of MTI.

Bellizia hailed the deal as “one of the most exciting developments globally in terms of having taxi companies compete against the global ride share companies”.

“Together MTI and Cabcharge will invest over $10 million developing technologies to create advanced taxi dispatch and payment services, which in turn will strengthen operations for our taxi industry customers across the world.”

Cabcharge said MTI would continue with its existing management structure and operate as a subsidiary of Cabcharge to “allow it to provide systems and service to all customers equally and fairly, but with the added support of more people power and R&D funding.”

Cabcharge CEO Andrew Skelton said that working directly with its core dispatch and bookings technology would enable Cabcharge to improve the service experience for its key stakeholders. “The transaction signals growing confidence in our ability to build and integrate technology and MTI provides an opportunity to be active and competitive on a global scale,” he said.

Completion of the deal is expected in the second half of calendar 2018, subject to confirmation from the ACCC that it does not intend to oppose the acquisition. The acquisition does not include MTI’s meter business.