Uber, the massive, omnipresent ride-sharing company, has dominated the industry since its inception in 2009. It has spread to more than 60 countries since then, and was recently valued at $68 billion, making investors wonder when, and if, Uber will file for an IPO.
The emergence of on-demand rides has become a popular business venture all over the world, but it has proved difficult for companies to break away from the congested pack. At the end of 2015, Sidecar, another on-demand car service, officially stopped offering rides and deliveries.
If you’re looking to leave controversy-plagued Uber behind—and recently, a lot of people did, rallying behind the #deleteUber hashtag after a certain executive order from President Trump—but you still want the luxury of on-demand rides, there are increasingly popular alternatives for you.
Here’s a rundown of the biggest competitors Uber faces:
Launched in 2012, Lyft is a transportation company known for its fuzzy pink mustaches on the front or on dashboards of cars—silly, yet quite helpful when trying to spot your ride.
The San Francisco-based company works similarly to Uber. Within its smartphone app, users see a map with a pin at their location, animated cars moving around nearby, an estimate of how far away the nearest ride is, and a big button labeled “Request Lyft.”
Also like Uber, Lyft offers multiple levels of service: Lyft Line (a shared ride option that can save users up to 60% on fare); Plain Lyft (a ride for solo travelers or groups up to four); and Lyft Plus (larger cars and SUVs perfect for those traveling with suitcases and boxes, or if you want to ride with a large group). You can select which type of ride you want with a slider tool at the top of the app.
As for rates, they vary by city, type of ride, and current demand; you can also choose to add a tip if desired. It is important to note that like Uber, Lyft does use surge pricing.
In the United States, Lyft is available in roughly 220 cities and areas nationwide, as well as nine cities within Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, The Philippines, and Vietnam.
Formerly Taxi Magic (2009) and RideCharge (2007), Curb was born in 2014, and is a company that connects people with safe, reliable rides from professional, insured, and fully licensed taxi and other for-hire drivers. Based in Alexandria, Virginia, Curb operates in more than 60 U.S. cities nationwide, partnering with 90 cab companies and driving 35,000 cars.
Curb is app-based, opening up to a map that marks your location; it also shows available Curb drivers nearby. Users can either book rides instantly, or schedule them up to 24 hours in advance (a service convenient for travelers). There is a choice of paying fares within the app or with cash in the car, as well as vehicle options to best suit your needs.
On its website, Curb boasts that rides are always available and ready to pick you up, as well as messaging that “all rides begin and end at the curb,” a motto reflected in its logo.
Conceived from a merger back in 2015, Didi Chuxing is a ride-hailing service company made up of China’s two largest taxi-hailing firms: Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache. Didi Chuxing, formerly known as Didi Kuaidi, is often referred to as the “Uber of China,” and virtually owns all of China’s taxi-hailing market, with a 99% market share, and 87% market share when it comes it hailing private vehicles.
It operates in over 400 cities across the region, versus UberChina’s humble 45 cities.
In January, the company said it booked 1.43 billion rides in 2015 alone, and completed 200 million rides last December. Didi is also in a strategic partnership with the above mentioned Lyft, which allowed the company to operate in China for the first time.
Didi Chuxing is well-funded and backed by tech giants Apple Inc. (AAPL - Free Report) , Tencent Holdings (TCEHY - Free Report) , and Alibaba (BABA - Free Report) . According to its CrunchBase page, the company’s total equity funding is valued at $7.32 billion in six funding rounds from 17 investors.
Earlier this year, Uber conceded defeat, selling its UberChina operations to Didi and ending an expensive, bruising battle between the two companies. Uber faced obstacle after obstacle trying to enter China’s fast-growing ride-hailing market, losing a total of $2 billion there.
Founded in 2011, Grab (formerly known as GrabTaxi) is a ride service company that operates in Southeast Asia, primarily in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Like Uber, Grab works through an app-based platform for smartphones, and users can download the app on the Google Play store, Apple’s App Store, and Blackberry World.
Grab has raised a total of $680 million in total equity funding, with roughly 75,000 registered taxi drivers in its network.
Their mission is simple. Grab “aims to revamp these local taxi markets by introducing simple, cost effective mobile-based technology to both the supply (dispatch companies) and demand (passenger) sides of the distribution chain…[their] vision is to revamp the South East Asian taxi industry, making it a safer and more efficient means of transport we can all be proud of.”
Announced last December, Grab joined in an alliance with Lyft, Didi, and Ola, India’s main ride-hailing company, in order to rival Uber as well as grow beyond its Southeast Asia market.
Started as an online cab aggregator in Mumbai back in 2010, Ola is an app-based transportation company and is one of the fastest growing businesses in India. It has raised $1.23 billion in equity funding through eight rounds from 20 investors.
Ola currently has over 40,000 cars in its network across 22 cities.
Reserved through its mobile app, the company provides different types of cab services ranging from economic to luxury travel. Ola supports both cash and digital payment options with Ola money. It also recently rolled out two news services: outstation and rental. Outstation allows customers to book a cab two hours in advance for intercity travel, while rental lets customers rent a car on an hourly basis.
Like Lyft and Grab, Ola is partnered with Didi Chuxing in what is turning out to be quite the international effort against Uber. Together, the four companies rolled out joint products last year, beginning with Didi riders who, when visiting the U.S., can open their Didi app to hail a Lyft.
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