The Indian cab market has seen a lot of traction, with over INR 600 crores being raised by the leading players in the sector. While this has been a very competitive market, the organized sector forms a small percentage of the overall market. It is estimated that the radio taxi market in India is $6-9 billion dollars growing at 17-20%. It is also estimated that the number of taxis in the organized sector will reach 30,000 by 2017.
The sector has in the past few years seen tremendous growth with nearly 10 fairly large companies operating in various models. But even in this clutter, three companies stand out in their product uniqueness, customer service responsiveness, driver behaviour and timely arrivals – Olacabs, TaxiForSure and the global sharing economy pioneer, Uber. Other companies that are operating include Meru, Easy Cabs, Savaari and BookMyCab. The market made a transition from owned fleet to a fleet aggregator model where anyone could own a car and become an entrepreneur – in fact, Ola Cabs conducted a Driver Mela in Pune and Bangalore to get vehicles at a discount to potential drivers.
As well as aggregators are coming up with lots of attractive schemes and plans for drivers and to lure their customers by getting different schemes to drivers from the manufacturers like OlaCabs did Driver Mela in Pune and Bangalore, TaxiForSure came up with Magic Trip on their Mobile Application, Uber comes up with different promo code from time to time.
- Olacabs started its operations in 2010 from Mumbai under the name of ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
- TaxiForSure.com started its operation in 2011 from Bangalore under the name of Serendipity Infolabs Pvt. Ltd.
- Uber started its operations in India in 2013 starting from Bangalore, but the parent company operates under Uber Technologies Inc, incorporated in the state of Delaware, US
- Uber got seed funded from Travis Kalanick (co-founder), Garrett Camp (~$200K) (2009). The firm then went on to raise angel funding from Lowercase Capital, First Round Capital and a bunch of other investors including Naval Ravikant (~$1.3 million). This was followed by rounds of $11 million and $37 million till 2011 from investors including Jeff Bezos of Amazon. The last two rounds have been humongous and brought in marquee investors including Google Ventures and KPCB – $258 million in 2013 and $1.2 billion in 2014 at a whopping valuation of $18.4 billion
- OlaCabs got Angel funded to the tune of ~$1 million (2011), followed by a growth investment of $5 million by Tiger Global Management. There were follow up rounds by Tiger and Matrix Venture Parnters for $20 million
- TaxiForSure raised seed funding from Accel Partners, Helion Venture Partners, Blume Ventures (Unknown Amount) (2012) and followed a similar trajectory to raise $4 million followed by a round of $10 million in 2014
- OlaCabs launched its Mobile App on Android first, followed by iOS in 2012 followed by Windows in 2014
- TaxiForSure launches its Mobile App on Android & iOS in 2013 followed by Windows in 2014
- Uber started its operations in India (2013) with Android and iOS apps. Uber App on Windows platform is published by Caro Apps
Senior Management Hires:
- Ronald Rosario, India Head of Operations at Meru Cabs, moved to TaxiForSure.com (2012)
Unique Marketing Initiatives:
- OlaCabs provided a lot of promo codes on their website to give huge discounts in various segments. They also started the trends of providing fixed rate drops to the airport when they launch in a city
- OlaCabs provides cabs at INR 13 per kilometre whenever Auto Unions call a strike
- TaxiForSure provides promo codes on Tuesdays
- Uber is way ahead in marketing as they did campaigns during elections (providing Uber at a discounted rate for voting), UberStud (to encourage referral) and free credits while introducing a new customer. Recently they launched Uber Chopper, by which you can ride a chopper and have a view of your city’s skyline
Who do you think will win this battle in the taxi market? Tell us in the comments below!
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