There is a pattern, Uber, which once emerged as the biggest player in the ride-hailing segment globally, has gradually been losing the battle against local rivals in different geographies. Almost 18 months ago, it had exited Chinese market after bleeding about $2 billion.
The San Francisco-headquartered company lost China to Didi Chuxing. A year later, it announced a truce in Russia by merging its operation with a homegrown major Yandex. Recent media reports emphasise that Uber has almost conceded defeat against its rival Grab in Southeast Asia.
It’s reportedly preparing to sell its Southeast Asia business to the Singapore-based company in exchange for a sizable stake. Things don’t seem hunky-dowry for Uber in India as incumbent Ola has over 3X reach than the former (Uber operates in 31 cities).
According to a market and competitive intelligence company, Kalagato, Ola has witnessed a rise in marketshare from 53 per cent in July 2017 to 56.2 per cent in December last year. Meanwhile, Uber marketshare decreased by about 2.4 per cent from 42 to 39.6 per cent during the same period.
The survey conducted across 650,000 smartphone users (as claimed by Kalagato) in the country reveals that about 40 per cent respondents have Ola’s app while Uber’s app found a place in about 28.7 per cent phones.
Notably, Paytm-backed Jugnoo and Meru have lost the plot with having less than a 3 per cent marketshare each in overall ride-hailing marketshare.
Besides 3X reach and over 2X network of driver partners than Uber (it has 4.5 lakh drivers), autorickshaw-hailing service seems to have helped Ola to gain more marketshare with a frequent use case.
Chandigarh-based Jugnoo fairly had a good headstart in Delhi (NCR) with app-based on-demand autorickshaw service, however, it couldn’t manage to keep drivers and riders intact.
The Bhavish Aggarwal-led company, as well as Uber, also run bike-taxi in Delhi (NCR). The report also indicates that Uber saw over 2 per cent more uninstall rate than the local rival.
To fight deep-pocketed Uber in India, Ola had raised massive $2 billion from SoftBank and Tencent in September last year. The Bengaluru-based company has been playing proactive moves in electric vehicle segment.
Currently, it runs a fleet of electric vehicles in Nagpur and had invested upwards of Rs 50 crore towards EVs and charging infrastructure in the orange city. Ola is also setting up a dedicated team to design Ola electric auto fleet (e-rickshaws) across the country.
Though, such leads by Ola over Uber may seem marginal but prolonged cultural as well as operational issues at later certainly impacting its once unchallenging stature in many geographies. After China, Russia, and Southeast Asia. Will India turn out to be next defeat for Uber?
The development was first reported by Quartz via Kalagato.