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Uber’s Expansion Drive Moves To India After US

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Uber-App-Might-Arrive-on-Windows-Phone-Once-Again-413478-2The name Uber, is derived from Uber Technologies Inc. is an American international transportation network company headquartered in San Francisco, California. The company develops, markets and operates the Uber mobile app, which allows consumers with smatphones to submit a trip request which is then routed to Uber drivers who use their own cars. By 28 May 2015, the service was available in 58 countries and 300 cities worldwide. Since Uber’s launch, several other companies have copied its business model, a trend that has come to be referred to as “Uberification”. Uber was founded as “UberCab” by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp in 2009 and the app was released the following June. Beginning in 2012, Uber expanded internationally. In 2014, it experimented with carpooling features and made other updates. By mid-2015, Uber was estimated to be worth $50B. It is estimated that Uber will generate $10 billion in revenue by the end of 2015. The legality of Uber has been challenged by governments and taxi companies, who allege that its use of drivers who are not licensed to drive taxicabs is unsafe and illegal.

Uber’s expansion drive moves to India after US

Marking its largest international geographical expansion in its history, US-based taxi-sharing app Uber is set to launch operations in 7 new cities in India as it takes on rival Ola in a highly competitive market. With the upcoming launches in Bhubaneswar, Coimbatore, Indore, Mysore, Nagpur, Surat and Visakhapatnam simultaneously, India is now officially Uber’s largest market outside the US. In fact this is also the first time that Uber is moving outside larger urban centres to tap into “tier 2” cities, where pricing is key for growth, which is why perhaps the company will only offer only its low-priced services Go and X. Uber is already present in 11 Indian cities and the new launches tomorrow will take its total operations in India to 18 cities. “This is the largest number of new international cities Uber has ever launched simultaneously, and underscores its commitment towards transforming urban mobility across India,” Uber said in a statement. Uber’s new expansion drive comes just a month after it roped in Rent.com’s Amit Jain to head its India operations in a bid to improve relations with regulators.

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Exponential growth of Uber in India

Uber said India and China are its priority markets. It had said last month that it would invest more than $1-billion in China this year as it looks to rev up growth in the world’s second-largest economy. Uber operates in 57 countries, with an estimated value of more than $40-billion. But it has tangled with transport authorities across the globe, along with attorneys seeking to deem Uber drivers as employees entitled to benefits. In India, Uber has been at odds with authorities in the capital, New Delhi, where the government banned its services after an Uber driver was accused of some crime in December. But a court revoked the ban this month. After the incident, Uber tightened its driver screening and in-app safety features. It has also modified its global business model to accept cash payment in some Indian cities. The company on Friday said it aimed to attain 1 million rides daily in India within six to nine months. An industry source said Uber now records 200,000 trips daily.

Uber is set to have a transformational impact in these 7 new markets, similar to that in over 300 cities around the world. Uber will create tens of thousands of jobs, help decongest roads, improve the safety, quality and convenience of transportation, foster entrepreneurship at the grassroots, and give women flexible, equitable earning opportunities, and help law enforcement authorities harness the power of technology to make roads safer.

“We’re thrilled to launch Uber in these 7 new cities (Bhubaneswar, Coimbatore, Indore, Mysore, Nagpur, Surat and Visakhapatnam); marking the start of the next chapter in our journey in India. The rapid 40% MoM growth we continue to see in India is unprecedented and it is not surprising that some of the fastest growing cities in the world are also here. Our data already shows that residents and visitors in each of these new cities have been eagerly waiting for Uber for sometime now and we expect to see a similar response here. Our focus on continuously leading the way on safety and creating thousands of new entrepreneurs will drive our growth ahead!”– Neeraj Singhal, Head of Expansion for India & the Subcontinent, Uber.

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Uber has since introduced India-specific safety features, including a panic button. Ola added new personal safety features in January, including an SOS button and emergency contacts, and Aggarwal said that the company has a large team in each city to check car quality and the background of drivers.The company has raised about $300 million to date, with $210 million coming from SoftBank in October. Other backers include Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital. Industry sources say that Ola’s biggest rival is Meru Cabs with a 16 percent share of the market while Uber holds a 5 percent share. Uber does not comment on its market share, but the company operates in 11 cities in India.Meru Cabs said it is present in 19 cities with a fleet of more than 12,000 cabs serving 5 million-plus passengers.

Image Credits : softpedia, theguardian, forbes

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