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GetTaxi becomes Gett, starts ordering takeaways, plumbers and massages

The taxi app and Uber rival rebrands, and will also let you order a variety of third-party services.

gett-black-taxi-cab-london.jpg
Gett began life as GetTaxi, backed by a fleet of London's iconic black cab taxis. Gett

Taxi app GetTaxi is changing its name to Gett and hitting the road for all sorts of services, bringing you everything from takeaways to dry cleaning.

Launched in 2011 in Tel Aviv and London as GetTaxi, Gett is a smartphone app and website that enables you to order a taxi to your location, similar to rivals like Uber and Hailo. Gett connects you with licensed taxi drivers -- like London's famous black cabs or New York's iconic yellow cabs -- rather than privately hired minicabs. Gett is currently available in 32 cities around the world, including New York, London, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Manchester, Moscow and 13 cities in Israel.

Unlike Uber, Gett promises a fixed fare rate with no "surge pricing" inflating prices at times of higher demand. By expanding beyond ordering taxis to ordering other services too, Gett could win more customers and ride out the controversy surrounding e-hailing apps.

From July, the new Gett app will add the ability to order food, such as sushi, pizza or wine; beauty products and services, like manicures, hair treatment and massages; and home services such as cleaning, maintenance or plumbing.

Let's say your shower breaks. You fire up the Gett app and request a plumber; a local plumber then jumps in their van and heads for your location. When your shower's fixed, you pay through the Gett app using the payment details you've already stored.

The services are covered by 24-hour, seven-day-a-week customer care from Gett, and the service providers are vetted by the company too. You are limited to the plumbers, pizza places or other service providers who've partnered with Gett, so it's up to you whether you prefer the convenience of ordering and paying through Gett's app or whether you'd rather choose a service provider yourself.

The app works with iPhone, BlackBerry and Android.

Expanding into new services beyond just ordering a ride is one way to secure Gett's presence across the globe, as the taxi market has proved a tough nut to crack for new technology-focused entrants. Uber is perhaps best-known among the taxi apps, but faces opposition from the established taxi industry and from local authorities. Meanwhile, British startup Hailo was recently forced to pull out of the US market.