Today, Uber, the ride-hailing app, announced its quadruple launch in four Indian cities – Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh and Kolkata. With the latest additions, India is now the biggest market for Uber outside of the United States.
Uber, interestingly, launched its first Indian city, Bangalore just last year. In less than an year, it is now letting people call cabs easily from their app in 10 Indian cities.
While Taxiforsure launched its operations in its 5th city late last month, Olacabs hit its 10th earlier this month. Both of them had Ahmedabad as their 5th and 10th city, respectively.
“A year ago, Bangalore kick-started our growth in India, followed by Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, and most recently, Pune. Across these cities, we saw the need for convenient, safe, reliable transportation deepen. Local, business and leisure travellers were downloading our app before we even arrived – that’s how we know India wants Uber to be everywhere!” said a note from Uber.
In India, the cab market is perhaps one of the hottest ones, second only to e-commerce. There has been a significant amount of traction and the leading players have raised over INR 600 crores. The organized sector still forms a small percentage of the overall market. Estimates put the radio taxi market in India at $6-9 billion dollars growing at 17-20%.
Uber, which once gave an impression of a luxury car-rental service, is now becoming synonymous with providing quick, safe and reliable rides. With the introduction of UberX in June, it stamped its presence as a direct competitor to established radio taxi players like OlaCabs, TaxiForSure, Meru and others.
As Uber matures in cities like Bangalore, and as the network of drivers and cars increase, the hailing to pickup time has gone as low as 8 minutes. This is effectively translating into quick and convenient rides for consumers and more income for the drivers.
Due to this efficient demand-supply model, Uber says that they are able to lower prices and pass on the benefit to the riders. And on the same note they have announced a price cut of 25% on both Uber Black and UberX fares in Bangalore.
“We’re excited to offer this price cut because it makes Uber more affordable and accessible to everyone in the city,” said the note.
With its unique marketing initiatives and aggressive strategy, Uber continues to be in the news even as it expands to new cities at a rapid pace. The service is now present in almost 150 cities within just five years of inception. Uber, with its last funding round of $1.2 billion, values the company at over $18 billion. And, India continues to be their focus.
“India is one of the most exciting markets for us and the potential is huge,” Allen Penn, head of Asia Operations at Uber had told YourStory back in June.
Special promo code for YourStory readers:
New riders get an INR 300 off on two rides by using promo code YSUBERLOVESINDIA while booking the service. The promo code expires on August 31, 2014.