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With over 9.4 million trips a week Uber inches close to Ola


Irrespective of Uber being in deep crisis recently for various reasons ranging from poor culture and ouster of Travis Kalanick among others, the company is making rapid strides in India. It has recently hit 500 million trips in the country and now claimed that it did 9.4 million trips a week in July as compared to 5.5 million trips it used to do in August last year.

San francisco-based company claims to handle 1.3 million rides a day in July this year across the 29 Indian cities it currently operates in. Earlier, it said to have registered double digit growth in the country and almost 2.5 times annual increase in business as of June 2017.

With significant jump in number of trips and over 2X growth in terms of business, Uber seems not very far from Softbank-backed rival Ola.

“In the last 12 months, we as a firm have been focused towards driving efficiencies and improving the overall product experience, while strengthening our engagement with riders and driver partners across the country,” an Uber spokesperson said to ET.

While Uber claims to have 450,000 registered drivers on its platform out of which 285,000 were active in July, Ola said it had 800,000 driver partners. Importantly, Ola didn’t give number of active drivers on its platform.

Both ride-hailing companies had started slashing drivers incentive from the beginning of this year. As a result, drivers are quitting cab hailing platforms. According to a Redseer Consulting report – both companies are struggling to match up to consumer demand.

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Of late, cab-sharing feature has been offering momentum to both companies as riders prefer to opt it. Uber claims that 25 per cent of Uber rides are availed through uberPOOL. uberPOOL made debut in India in September last year, and currently available in six cities including Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune and others.

Industry estimates hint that Ola does about 25-30% of its overall rides via Ola share. Ola also launched subscription-based service Share Pass in November last year. Two months ago, the Bengaluru-based company said that more than 20 million carpool rides had been pre-sold through the Share Pass subscription.

When it comes to usage of the mobile applications of Ola and Uber, the gap is shrinking. Ola had 5.9 million monthly active users on its app and Uber, 5.5 million in May, according to App Annie’s data. That month, 57% of Uber users and 43% of Ola users opted for shared rides.

“The gap has been slowly closing between the two cab-hailing companies during the last 12 months. Ola would have seen around 20 million combined iOS and Google Play downloads in India, whereas Uber saw around 30 million combined downloads,” said Lexi Sydow, senior markets insights analyst at App Annie.

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