It’s no more imminent. It has already happened! Ola in India, Didi Kuaidi in China, GrabTaxi in Southeast Asia, and Lyft in the USA have announced a strategic global rideshare partnership- a pact which is reckoned to be Uber’s worst nightmare.
The tension began to take a serious course with Didi joining hands with Lyft in September, followed immediately by its investment in Ola, shortly after Uber invested $1Billion in its India operations. And now, with GrabTaxi entering the team, the competition has been escalated to a global war between the allies of Didi and Uber.
The alliance has allowed these four companies to cover nearly half of the world’s population. Each country will handle mapping, routing, and payments through a secure API, to provide a global experience to the millions of travelers that cross between India, Southeast Asia, China, and the US every year. In other words, the integration of these companies will facilitate a seamless ride booking experience to users across borders. For example, if a person travels to China, he can book a Didi cab from his Ola app. This will snatch Uber’s the exclusivity as the single global taxi hailing app.
Further, with this pact, the four partners can leverage each other’s technology, market knowledge and customer-base to design better strategic plans.
The partnership undeniably looks potent enough to claim a sizable chunk of business, but the degree to which it could be exploited, seems limited nonetheless. This is because, the markets of China, India, Southeast Asia and America are very individualistic, thus, require individual technologies and strategies. Also, most importantly, it might take a good time to actually build an integrated base across geographies.
On the other hand, Uber which is looking to raise $2.1 billion, in a Series G round after which it is estimated to be as $64.6 billion, has already cemented its position in 60 countries- including the markets its rivals are fighting for.
Again, it is needless to mention, only that company will survive the battle whose solutions would embody a universal appeal but at the same time, have immediate relevance to the local niche it caters to. Say Ola to Glocalization!