Mobile app developer Flywheel, which has been arming taxi companies in Los Angeles with their own, Uber-style mobile app, said this week that it has launched a brand new version of its app for the iPhone. According to Flywheel--which is currently serving Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle--it has redesigned its app to make it easier for people to get a ride from a local cab. Flywheel has cast itself with local taxi companies in the taxi-versus-ridesharing-app battle, which has been playing itself out on the streets of Los Angeles and other cities. Uber, Sidecar, and Lyft have been battling incumbent taxi and transportation companies in Los Angeles.
Taxi drivers and companies complaint that the ridesharing companies are unregulated, unsafe, and unfairly cut into their business; however, Uber, Sidecar, and Lyft's users and drivers say that the service provide safer, more responsive, and a better experience overall than taxi services. That battle has not only played out on the streets, but also in the political realm, where taxi companies have been using their local political connections to try to shut out the new, technology driven services. Flywheel is venture backed by Craton Equity Partners, RockPort Capital, Shasta Ventures and Sand Hill Angels.