Uber and Lyft said "see ya!" to Austin, Texas, after its citizens rejected a proposition exempting the companies from fingerprinting their drivers. But where those companies saw untenable regulation, a startup saw a big market for its services.
That startup is Fasten, a ride-hailing app that on Friday said it's launching in Austin as soon as possible. Fasten CEO Kirill Evdakov said the company, which now offers service only in Boston, hadn't planned to go live in Austin just yet, but will speed up its timeline.
"We're reaching out to the drivers of Austin and signing them up as they come. This is happening quickly so our app will be available to riders shortly," Evdakov said in a blog post. The company will have to fingerprint its drivers to comply with Austin's requirements.
Evdakov also had some tough words for his competitors.
"Real competition benefits everyone, encourages innovation, and pushes us forward -- together," Evdakov said. "One of the downsides of monopolies and duopolies is their ability to control the market, and in Austin's case, the market was steered against what people wanted."
Lyft and Uber did not respond to requests for comment.