Uber’s rival, Hailo, has hired its third chief executive in three months to accelerate its international growth.

Andrew Pinnington, who was once chief operating officer at Carphone Warehouse, will take over from Tom Barr, who left the taxi-app to focus on family life.

Hailo's unique selling point is that it uses licensed black cabs - but this may have to change ©Hailo

Barr – a former Starbucks executive - is based in North America while the firm is headquartered in London, where it was founded in 2011 by a team of taxi drivers and internet entrepreneurs. 

The announcement raised speculation about the firm, as Barr had only recently taken over from one of Hailo’s co-founders, Jay Bregman, who quit the company follwoing its withdrawal from the North American market in mid-October.

The firm was struggling to compete with rivals Lyft and Uber in the region.

Hailo’s Chairman Ron Zeghibe said that Pinnington “brings the perfect skill set to help us drive Hailo through the next stages of our international growth and development”, but that the firm was “very sad to see Tom leave us”.

Pinnington said: “I am excited to join Hailo and to lead the company as it builds on its success. As a long-term user of the product, I look forward to working with the team to continue driving the company’s growth strategy in the European and Asian markets, where Hailo has a strong point of differentiation against its peers.”

Despite stiff competition, Hailo has managed to raise $100 million (£62 million) of investment from venture capital firms like Atomico and Index Ventures.

It also reported "double digit month-on-month growth" in the last three months of 2014, which it claimed cemented, "its position as the leading European ehail".

Hailo offers the services of licensed black cab drivers, unlike Uber who uses mini-cab drivers. Customers ‘call’ black cab drivers to their location through the smartphone app. It is used by an estimated 12,000 of the 17,000 black cab drivers in London. It is used in nineteen further cities across Europe and Asia.

Similarly to Uber, however, it has received backlash from black cab drivers once it was revealed the firm had applied for a licence to operate private hire cars too – leading to a number of cab drivers deserting the service and dubbing the firm "Failo".

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