Uber to launch cab-sharing service in India, as rival Ola readies its own version

Uber brand logo from the company website

Cab-hailing service Uber will launch its cab-sharing product UberPOOL in India this year as it looks to add new offerings to catch up with market leader Ola and become the dominant cab service in the country.

UberPOOL will launch a test service soon in select cities in India, starting with Bengaluru, to gain insights from commuter adoption and usage, said Uber, the world’s largest venture-backed company.

UberPOOL is currently available in some of the company’s other markets such as US and France.

Over the past two years, Bengaluru has been encouraging residents to make use of car-pooling and other measures to reduce traffic.

UberPOOL will allow users to share rides and split costs, potentially saving up to 50% of a trip’s cost. UberPOOL is yet another offering by Uber to encourage people to move away from buying and using cars.

“India is a top global priority for Uber along with China,” said Bhavik Rathod, general manager of Uber’s Bengaluru operations. “Our vision for UberPOOL involves helping solve some of the toughest problems cities are facing today, whether it’s congestion, pollution, or lack of access to transportation,” he added.

Uber claims UberPOOL helps reduce pollution by encouraging people to share rides. After the service’s launch in Uber’s home city of San Francisco in August 2014, the company recorded “millions” of UberPOOL trips, the company said in a post on its website in April.

Uber soft-launched in Bengaluru in August 2013; since then, it has expanded to 22 cities, making India Uber’s second largest market after the US in terms of the number of cities. The company has slashed prices, introduced low-cost services, and even accepted cash payments to adapt its lean business model to India and Indians.

Uber, which said in July it will invest $1 billion in India over the next year, is the biggest threat to local rival Ola, run by ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

Uber claims a market share in India of over 40% while Ola claims it has more than 75% of the market.

Ola is also working on a cab-sharing service, tentatively called Ola Share, Mint reported on 4 August. When it goes live, that service, too, will allow users to split fares and share cabs with other people. Earlier this month, another cab operator, Meru Cab Co. Pvt. Ltd, said it has launched a new ride-sharing service, called CarPool, for customers across India.

Also Read:  For carmakers, taxi-hailing apps Ola, Uber pose fresh challenge

Uber to establish legal footing in Indonesia

China’s Didi Kuaidi may back India’s Ola to take on its biggest rival Uber

This article was first published on Livemint.com

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.