In the last 6 months, #2 startups ended up raising big rounds.
TaxiForSure raised Series C (amount not disclosed, but expected to be ~$40mn). Ola raised Series D ($210mn) recently.
The total funding (excluding Uber and Meru’s undisclosed numbers) surely stands at more than $350mn (close to ~INR 2200 crores).
And the biggest positive to this is great affordable service (people will pay anything to not-haggle-with-an-auto-rickshaw-guy) and availability of cabs (a better lifestyle).
The biggest negative impact? None to consumers, but the overall industry is suddenly seeing massive drops in the fare rate, similar to what Ecommerce has done to offline retailers.
Loaded with investors money, Ola/TaxiForSure/Uber are able to reduce the price in order to acquire customers while for the offline ones, it’s business-as-usual (they can’t think out-of-the-box, they were never forced to!)
Coming Up : The Big Battle.
Earlier, Ola became part of election campaign agenda and now that companies are positioning themseleves as ‘alternative to auto rickshaws’, an imminent battle is about to happen.
What’s really happening is that companies are poaching drivers (and cabs) from the competition by giving away monetary incentives which are unheard in this space. I spoke to few Ola drivers and they said why they moved away from other competitors (Reason # 1: incentives are better. Reason 2 : Ola doesn’t fine drivers, unlike others who fine drivers Rs. 500 for not keeping the cab clean).
“This move by private operators will prove suicidal for auto drivers. In the city some of the private operators have reached an agreement with auto drivers stating that operator would credit Rs 10,000 every month into drivers’ account, give them a mobile phone and other benefits.All the auto driver has to do is run the auto at the fare fixed by the operator, say Rs 10 per kilometer. This agreement is illegal and questions the authority of the transport department that issues the permit.
Though offers look fancy for auto drivers in the beginning they will be deceived by the operators.If the state government fails to take action we will definitely act against the injustice.” [President of auto association/source]
This is India’s version of what happened to Uber in other countries. We certainly hope that these battles don’t result in physical fights (which, I am sure will happen), but for sure these are defining times in the history of India’s transportation industry.
The winner will not be decided in the next 5 years, but in the next 10-15 years.
Who do you think will survive the next 15 years? Ola? TaxiForSure? Uber (India)? Meru ? Others?