Seven months after its launch, Uber has shut down its service of UberAUTO in New Delhi.
“At Uber, we continuously experiment with products to ensure that we can provide the most efficient, affordable and convenient ride to everyone everywhere. We are temporarily removing this product to solve specific problems that need to be resolved to help it scale”, told an Uber spokesperson to Inc42.
UberAUTO service was launched in April 2015, this was first time that Uber had changed its global business model to accept cash payment. The service was also a first platform for a mode of transport other than four-wheeler taxis by Uber. The service was considered to be one of the many country-specific features Uber has added to gain a dominant position in the cab aggregation market in India.
The company had plans to gradually expand the auto-rickshaw service to adjoining areas in Delhi.
Earlier, Uber had claimed that it had received ‘tremendous’ feedback from both riders and drivers. Despite the positive response however, Uber didn’t expand to other cities and now it has shut down its services altogether.
Uber’s biggest competitor Ola has taken onboard over 70000 autos across cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Pune and Hyderabad out of which 16000 autos operate out of Delhi alone. As of now, more than 50% of its payments are done through Ola Money, Ola’s digital wallet.
In a bid to win over Uber, Ola recently had entered into a strategic partnership with China’s Didi Kuaidi, US-based Lyft and Malaysia’s GrabTaxi which will allow passengers to book rides on any of these apps of any of the four services through just one app.
The alliance is aimed at strengthening their market share in their respective territories while giving a strong competition to Uber.
Uber is currently valued at $50 Bn and operates out of 64 countries.
However, in India, Ola seems to be holding the dominant market share (80%) in the taxi-hailing service as of now.
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