In the ridesharing business, there is always so much undone and unseen that could give the most fervent competitor an edge. This is why competing in this space is a continuous effort for all startups. Currently, Uber seems to have the largest global presence in over 600 cities. This is why an examination of top ridesharing companies and how they compare to Uber is very valuable to help us understand the stance of the industry as a whole.
In analyzing the competition against Uber, Lyft first comes to mind. Lyft is a ridesharing company just like Uber. The company was founded in 2012 by Logan Green and John Zimmer and is valued at $5.5 billion. Lyft has a wide footprint in the U.S (over a hundred thousand Lyft drivers) and some international presence in a few cities like Singapore. Holding a long record of rivalry with Uber, Lyft continues to hold tightly to their cut of the ridesharing market.
Unlike Uber’s variety of services, Lyft has three major services. They include:
Regular Lyft service which is the lowest cost service, requests a 4-seater car. The LyftPlus requests a vehicle that can accommodate up to 6 riders comfortably; while the LyftLine allows passenger pool with other riders and share the cost.
From a driver’s perspective, choosing between Lyft and Uber should be viewed from a financial compensatory angle:
- Uber drivers get more pings/requests for rides than Lyft drivers as Uber is more popular than Lyft
- Uber fares are cheaper than Lyft fares, hence the higher demand for Uber drivers
- Uber drivers look more formal and have some form of formal training (UberBLACK) which makes them desirable for passengers who want to create a formal impression. Uber drivers are viewed as more professional.
This is a top Chinese ridesharing company (formerly called Didi Kuaidi) recently re-branded as Didi Chuxing. This company is Uber’s greatest competitor in the Chinese market. As much as Uber tried to expand in the country, this TNC (Transportation Network Company) has decided to stand as a local warrior against the growth of Uber. The company does almost the same thing as Uber, offering taxi and normal vehicle rides to people in the most convenient way – making commuting as easy as ever.
Valued at $35 Billion at the moment, the local company has proved to be a serious threat to Uber – stopping them from having the comfortable dominance that we have seen in many other countries. In August 2016, Uber waved the white flag and sold to Didi Chuxing leaving the table with $1 billion in cash and 17.7% percent ownership of Didi Chuxing.
Didi Chuxing, only 4 years old already has operations in over 400 Chinese cities and counting. About 80 percent of taxi drivers in China currently pick up passengers through the Didi app proving itself a worthy Uber rival.
Just as there’s a Didi Chuxing in China, there also exists an Ola in India. This TNC is Uber’s biggest competitor in India. The local cab hailing company was founded on the 3rd of December 2010 by Ankit Bhati and Bhavish Aggarwal who is also the current CEO. They have their headquarters in Bangalore and have operated their business smoothly in the Indian market since inception. The company also offers cabs to riders via a mobile app, allowing transportation to flow through a very easy channel. With investors like Didi Chuxing backing it, Ola is giving Uber a run for its money. The company currently has 550,000 drivers registered while Uber trails behind with 350,000 drivers. In March of 2016, Uber seemed to have claimed 40% of the Indian market share but the local grown Ola changed strategies and put enough muscle and funds into regaining control of 80% of the taxi market.
A major difference between the two taxi companies lies in pricing; currently Ola is priced higher than Uber.
Neither companies seem to be letting down and are still determined to come out on top in the race to claim the projected $7 billion Indian taxi market by the year 2020.
Next on the ridesharing list is Grab. Grab is a TNC company that started out as a taxi company(GrabTaxi). The company, however, moved with trends as time passed and brilliantly brought their services up to standard with what is expected of ridesharing companies presently. The company now provides GrabTaxi for those who want to use a regular yellow taxi; GrabCar for those who wish to ride in a cool unbranded car; and GrabHitch for the rider who doesn’t mind carpooling with another rider who is going in the same direction. The company has its services spread across a number of countries and is doing quite well in the rideshare industry.
Grab’s mode of operation is not entirely different from other TNCs. You request a ride via your smartphone and track your driver till they arrive at the pickup point. The company has been contributing its own quota to the ‘easy commuting’ movement since it was first founded in 2011 in Malaysia.
A glaring difference between the pricing between Grab and Uber lies during the peak and non-peak hours. During peak hours, Uber drivers earn more while Grab drivers earn more during smooth traffic.
With GoCatch you get taxis real quick and safe. The company provides riders in Australia with accredited Taxi drivers who ensure that you get what you pay for – a good ride. The company tags itself as Australia’s favourite taxi app. GoCatch contributed its bit to the improvement of rider and driver experience all over the country.
A significant difference between these two companies lies in the commission deducted from fares. For drivers, while Uber charges 20% commission per ride; GoCatch charges 15% commission in a bid to ensnare more driver signups. However, Uber still controls a larger share of the ridesharing market in Australia.
Other relevant and notable rideshare related companies include Ingogo – an Australian rideshare company; Blablacar – a long distance carpooling company with over 15,000,000 passengers;and EasyTaxi – a taxi hailing company with over 400,000 drivers and 20,000,000 passengers. Getaround and ZipCar are ridesharing companies which are closer to the rental business than rideshare. Yet, they are both aimed at allowing people without cars the opportunity to share a car that belongs to another user.
In general, comparing all these companies to Uber has helped us bring its worldwide dominance to a clearer light. Also, with a valuation as high as Uber’s, one wouldn’t be wrong to conclude that business on a global scale is proving better for Uber than any other company discussed on this post. However, the ever evolving world of business gives no room for companies at the top to relax. This is why the most pressure is on Uber to do better in expanding their reach and the scale of their business.
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