The race heats up in ride-sharing space

Sangeetha Chengappa Bengaluru | Updated on September 11, 2019

Even as newer players enter the ride-sharing space, analysts tracking the market say that the number of shared rides per annum has dropped by 50 per cent this year   -  Tero Vesalainen

Players like GetToWork and rPool are challenging the dominance of Uber, Ola

The ride-sharing services space which is dominated by UberPool and Ola Share is hotting up with new players like GetToWork and rPool entering the fray.

According to analysts, ride sharing as a percentage of overall rides has dropped by a sharp 50 per cent this year because of the unviable unit economics today.

GetToWork, a subscription-based, B2C ride-sharing app for daily office commuters launched in Bengaluru a few months ago, has already garnered 500 daily users. Launched by office commute platform MoveInSync, GetToWork competes with Ola Share, UberPool, car and bike pooling platform Quick Ride and rPool, a carpooling service by online bus ticketing platform RedBus. “We launched GetToWork to solve the problem of office commute through shared mobility. We have 150 cabs (sedans) which are used by 500 office commuters every day, who pay ₹10/km by booking monthly or fortnightly packages on the app,” said Akash Maheshwari, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO), MoveInSync.

Lower pricing

Maheshwari added, “We are targeting 5,000 daily users in the next six months.” GetToWork offers guaranteed, cancellation-free rides that have to be scheduled 8-12 hours in advance and fixed pricing which is 40 per cent lower than Ola Share and UberPool.

Instead of working with cab aggregators to generate supply, the company works directly with individual drivers, who are paid once a week.

Carpooling service rPool, which launched in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune in mid-June, has been receiving a better response in Bengaluru, Prasad Sangam, CEO of RedBus, told BusinessLine. He declined to share the number of daily riders on the app. The rPool tab can be accessed from within the RedBus app and allows only working professionals to avail and offer rides in their personal cars for commutes at ₹5/₹6 per km.

Quick Ride, which is operating in Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune and Kochi with 50,000 daily shared rides, aims to remove 1 million cars from the roads every day in the next two years. While newer players are entering the ride-sharing space, analysts tracking the space said that the number of shared rides per annum has dropped by 50 per cent this year.

Overall riders

“Ola and Uber logged 2 million rides per day in May/June 2019, of which shared rides accounted for 12-15 per cent, down from 25 per cent in May/June of 2018,” said an analyst.

Agrees Maheshwari: “With one person, we make no money; with two, we break even; and with three people, we make profits. On GetToWork, we get three people per cab because people choose to ride from hourly slots and adjust their timings accordingly. But in Ola and Uber, riders won’t get clubbed together even if their start/reach time is 5 minutes apart. We will achieve profitability when we get to 5,000 daily users in six months.”

Published on September 11, 2019

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