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Unlike previous years, growth for Ola and Uber fall flat in 2018


After reporting successive growth year-after-year, the growth of ride-sharing platforms has suddenly stagnated in India. The two biggest ride-sharing companies Ola and Uber have witnessed a very small percentage of growth in rides compared to previous years.

The recent data crunching done by industry experts show that while the absolute number of daily rides of Ola and Uber has increased, growth declined to 20 per cent on average in 2018 to 3.5 million across all segments, including taxis, autorickshaws, and shared cabs.

The fall in percentage is reported in comparison to 57 per cent growth reported in 2017 to 2.8 million rides a day and 90 per cent to 1.9 million in 2016.

Experts say the ride-sharing industry has achieved logarithmic growth curves in the country. Logarithmic growth curves increase quickly in the beginning, but the gains decrease and become more difficult as time goes on.

Talking particularly about Uber India, the ride-sharing platform was clocking 780,000 trips a day in August 2016. The number increased to 1.3 million trips a day, a 57 per cent growth almost a year later in July 2017.

In April 2018, the number of rides further grew to 1.4 million trips a day, but the growth was only 7.6 per cent compared to the previous year.

Ola, however, has remained shy of disclosing ride numbers except making claims of the biggest ride-sharing platform in the country.

Meanwhile, both the companies have been able to control their cash burns and increased operational efficiencies. They have cut down free rides and also increased the pricing.

Some industry gurus connect the fall in free rides and increased pricing to the fall in growth percentage.

The development was first reported by ET.

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