How Eleven Hundred put xooox on the map
Back in the early days of Eleven Hundred, we were introduced to the founder of an unknown start-up who had some grand plans to launch a new tech brand in the UK. Like many PR agencies, we have lots of introductory chats with firms in this situation and, if we’re honest, not all of their ideas come to fruition, but this conversation really struck a chord.
There was no talk of this company being a ‘unicorn in waiting,’ how much money it was going to make or which Big Tech firm would end up buying it. Instead, we were on the receiving end of a hugely passionate description from the founder about how the company’s invention had the power to change the dynamic of a market place that had become grossly unfair.
Fast forward to May 2019 and – after months of meticulous planning and much deliberation – we got to play a hand in launching xooox (it’s pronounced ‘zooks’ in case you were wondering).
xooox is a ride-hailing app, but absolutely like no other.
There’s no algorithm determining how much prices (and therefore company profits) should go up when the weather takes a turn for the worse, or because there’s a sudden peak in demand because it's closing time. Nor does it decide to downgrade a driver after a passenger leaves a three-star review because they were too chatty. Instead, drivers and passengers can use the platform to strike their own deals.
What’s more – and again, unlike other ride-hailing services – xooox is designed to make it easier for the nation’s taxi and minicab regulators to do their jobs. While there’s been some high-profile spats between apps and local councils; xooox is opening up the backend of its technology so regulators can check to see the licensing status of drivers in their jurisdictions; improving safety for everyone on the road. The same tech platform will give regulators and local councils a window into how many cabbies are operating in their areas and how they move about – this data will be vital as they plan where to locate electric charging points and introduce their wider integrated transport programmes and smart city initiatives.
xooox has struck a chord with the UK media too. The company has secured approaching 70 separate pieces of media coverage since it launched in mid-May, and it’s still generating interest now.
Whether its podcasts or profiles explaining how the idea for xooox came about, news stories about its launch and the subsequent (and rapid) uptake of the service, or oped columns discussing why the gig economy is in drastic need of a re-boot, xooox is now firmly in the headlines, and on the map.