Manchester-based tech firm Autocab, which provides technology to taxi and private hire firms globally, has pledged £500,000 to support the industry during the coronavirus crisis.

It will offer discount on payments for their booking and dispatch software over the next 3 months. The entirety of the fund will be distributed proportionally across all operators that opt-in.

Safa Alkateb, CEO at Autocab, said: “The hundreds of taxi operators we work with can apply for this fund if they’ve been negatively impacted. It’s one of several measures we’ve introduced to help during this period of disruption.

“We’ve pledged to provide as much additional support and added value to our customers as we can, and make no profit while the crisis is ongoing.”

Autocab said it is in discussions with several large UK retailers, who are either overrun with demand or not setup to fulfil home delivery orders, to make use of Autocab’s iGo network for deliveries.

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Through this platform, companies will be given access to a network of 80,000 taxi drivers across the UK.

Jon Smith, CMO at Autocab, said: “Private hire taxis are able to provide additional capacity for home delivery, along with other key services in their local communities. We have the technology, and the supply, that can link everyone together. We want to do our bit and make this happen as it will help people stay safe at home and enable drivers to pick up much needed work.”

Autocab was was established in 1991 to commercialise a hardware-based booking and dispatch system – which was developed by computer scientist Dr Falah Abod to help his friends in the taxi industry.

The SaaS business, based in Cheadle, Stockport, now provides local taxi firms with the technology required to meet modern travel demands.

The family-owned business, led by Safa Alkateb and nephew Hassan Abod, currently has 140 employees and operates in over 30 countries around the world.