Are Online Cab Aggregators Starting To Dent Offline Ones?

Olacabs raised 250 crores (~$41mn), TaxiForSure raised $10mn recently and Uber launched UberX in India. Great for consumers. A lot of VC money will now be used to discount your travel, which is good (for you).

Ny-taxi

How is how online players stack against each other and take a look at how Meru, which has been the leading cab company is being disrupted (though they are fighting back with great energy!).

Take a look at data from Google Trends* to gauge search interest in these companies.

2012

There is only Meru.

taxi-search-2012

2013

Initial signs of disruption, or rather existence of online players?

taxi-search-2013

2014

Somebody is being disrupted?

taxi-search-2014

Ofcourse, a lot of transactions happen on apps, so here are some quick stats for your eyes:

Name* Installs Average Rating Number of Ratings
TaxiForSure 100,000 – 500,000 3.9 2927
Olacabs 100,000 – 500,000 4 3092
Meru 100,000 – 500,000 4.2 6012

Meru continues to be the consumer brand, while most of the other players haven’t yet cracked the market (though have grabbed massive valuation). Though there is a rush to go to Tier-2 markets, we really wonder if they have got the playbook ready in Tier-1?

Will VC money drive a price war? Is that the only way to crack the market? In fact, Meru/Easycab etc are more expensive. But they have built a great brand recall because of the service they provide (and partnerships they have that bring them both traction and visibility). They probably didn’t care much about valuation (read : The Success Story of Meru Cabs – Case Study For Entrepreneurs).

* : We looked at Google Trends data and not site traffic, because the latter can be easily bought.

** : Uber doesn’t have any India specific app. Their global numbers will dward all, hence not included.

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