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Ride-hailing startup Fasten will shut down ahead of SXSW in Austin

Fasten, a ride-hailing startup, is shutting down its operations in Boston and Austin as part of its sale to Dutch automotive company Vezet Group, according to a customer email.

Why it matters: During a brief retreat from Austin by both Uber and Lyft last year, Fasten was among the local ride-hailing services that helped fill the gap, especially during the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) festival (with mixed results). Ironically, Fasten will cease its operations on Monday, just days before the conference returns to Austin.

The entire customer email:

Dear riders,

With heavy hearts, we are writing to let you know that as of 12amon Monday, March 5th, we will be shutting down all operations in Austin and Boston. Fasten has agreed to be acquired by Vezet Group, one of the top ten ride-hailing companies across the globe. While they will be using our brand and our technology to grow their business in other parts of the world, they will be freezing our operations in the U.S.
For us, it’s always been about more than just getting you from point A to point B.

We created this business to bring change to the ride-hailing industry. We wanted to help drivers earn more of the fare, and we wanted to give you a better choice. We believe we’ve made real progress with the 5 million rides we’ve completed together.

As we say goodbye, we ask that you make a conscious choice when it comes to ride-hailing. We know why you chose Fasten, and our hope is that you’ll continue to think about the drivers who are doing this to make ends meet and of how rideshare companies treat their people.

Fasten’s mission and model will live on in other markets around the globe, and we’re so proud of the product that we’ve built. Thank you so much for your tremendous support over the last three years. It’s been a great ride.

With gratitude,
Kirill Evdakov, Vlad Christoff, and Roman Levitskiy,
Co-founders, Fasten
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