Uber which essentially disrupted taxi services worldwide in 2015, is facing heat admist markets that hold the most potential. Asia with large populations, mostly all on smartphones, is fertile ground for this competition to be fought out. As a result, Uber recently invested US$1.2 billion into China and is expected to invest close to US$1 billion into India.
While, Bangalore based, Ola cabs is yet to sign on the dotted line with Didi Kuaidi, the knot, according to sources is almost tied. If aligned, Didi Kuaidi, will not just be competing for India’s US$10 billion taxi market, but will become the biggest taxi sharing service worldwide.
Didi Kuaidi whose investors include Alibaba and Tencent Holdings is valued at $16 billion and is expected to invest close to US$30 million of a total US$500 million raised by Ola. The alliance is targeted at growing their existing marketshare and offering strong competition to Uber which has faced several law suits and isn’t yet on firm ground in India. Ola cabs currently claims 750,000 rides a day in India while Uber plans to scale upto 200,000 rides a day with the new investment.
The sharing economy is growing in importance as company’s figure it’s better to collaborate rather than compete. Taxi sharing services may have been highlighted in this article, yet technology firms, designer company’s, home rentals and even luxury goods conglomerates are jumping into the shared economy. Maybe consolidation is just around the corner?
A deal signed last Wednesday in New York, allows Chinese users of Didi Kuaidi to use the same app in the US to hail a Lyft cab and vice versa. While the ink has dried on the financials, chinks such as having an English speaking driver for American tourists on Didi Kuaidi in China are being worked out.