The coronavirus spread continues to have a negative effect on the global economy including startups. While the reports of positive cases in India stand at almost 80, which is less in global comparison, many local startups have started to experience a sharp decline in their daily business.
Ride-hailing apps Uber and Ola are amongst those whose daily business have hit hard instantly, said three people aware of their daily transactions.
“Uber’s cab offering has been witnessing a decline of 25-30% in daily rides from the past few days,” said one of the three sources on condition of anonymity. “Its pool service has hit severely with a reduction of about 40-45% in the past two days as people are avoiding sharing cabs because of the threat of possible infection.”
Many corporate offices and scaled startups have been opting work from home to avoid mass gathering. Only yesterday, companies such as Meesho, Unacademy, Bounce, Mobikwik and a few others in Bengaluru mentioned they would allow their employees to work from home. Paytm had asked its employees across Gurugram and Noida to work from home until further notice after one of the employees was tested positive for coronavirus.
“Ola’s daily number of cab rides has also fallen by about 30% as compared to a normal business day,” said one of the three-person mentioned above. He requested not to be named as he’s not authorised to speak to the media “After Bengaluru, Delhi (NCR) and Mumbai are two most affected cities for Ola.”
According to him, the number of rides under Ola Share (its pool service) has been experiencing consistent downfall since Monday. “The daily volume on its pool service has fallen by almost 30-35%,” he added.
A large chunk of repeat users for Uber and Ola comprise of office goers, business owners and students. Hence, it’s not surprising to see their daily volume coming down.
Sources say as the number of positive cases of the coronavirus is expected to increase in coming weeks, the overall volume of Ola and Uber rides are expected to dip further.
Queries sent to Ola on Thursday late evening didn’t elicit any response. We will update the post as and when it responds. Uber declined to comment.
The Economic Times has also reported today that both Uber and Ola have seen rides drop by at least one third as companies advise employees to work from home due to coronavirus scare.