Ola VS Uber: Travel war from India to London


Editor’s note: This article is from WeChat public account “Brain Polar Body” (ID: unity007), author | Tibetan Fox, 36 氪 released with permission.Entering the countdown to 2019, the annual meeting of domestic Internet companies may be miserable, or chicken blood will also be scheduled.Obviously, the Indian company next door does not have such a New Year atmosphere and is still struggling for good news.Recent news is that Ola, the ride-hailing software company with the highest market share in India, is also one of India’s most promising consumer companies.India’s emergence as an important global force in the field of taxis may be something that many people did not expect.Although it can’t pull its sword eastward to shake the pattern of China’s domestic taxi market, it can make our taxi software feel the taste of change.The bumpy growth history of Indian travel giants In the past year, the various taxi giants in the two major markets in China and the United States have either bald in public opinion battles or have worked hard to make a profit on the market.Unexpectedly, Ola, India’s “top spot” in the field of ride-hailing, appeared on the international timetable so much earlier than expected.There is no shortage of capital.Before this year, Ola has made several large-scale financing news.In February, it was reported that Ola was conducting a $ 1 billion round of J financing, including Flipkart co-founder Bansal’s 1.5 billion rupees (about 20.96 million US dollars).Not long ago, it received another $ 300 million investment from Hyundai Motor Company of South Korea and Kia Motors Corp of Kia.According to foreign media reports, the 150-200 million US dollars financing with Microsoft has also entered the final stage of negotiations.Since its establishment, Ola has received a total of about $ 3.5 billion in investment, and there are many Chinese Internet giants such as Tencent and Didi behind it.In this year’s Internet venture capital market, there are not many lucky people like Ola.Even Ola Electric, a new energy-sharing car rental subsidiary of Ola, received $ 250 million from Softbank in the middle of the year and became India’s new unicorn.How did Ola win the favor?Perhaps it has to be traced back to the beginning of its establishment.Although Fei Zhai has not been to India, it is not difficult to see the depth of the Indian people’s travels from various film and television drama works.The fancy interspersed scene of motorcycle rickshaw is really impressive.The emergence of a ride-hailing platform and a market size of 1 billion people is undoubtedly a good idea for both social effects and commercial value.In 2010, Bhavish Aggarwal, an Indian who was taken off because he refused to increase the price of taxi drivers, was determined to change his travel company to an Uber taxi platform. He and partner Ankit Bhati founded Ola Cabs in Bangalore.The following year, they received their first angel funds.Ola barely encountered many obstacles during her growth period.The shared travel model quickly defeated the traditional rental market that occupied the mainstream at that time. When Meru Cabs and Mega Cabs on the Indian market could only book taxis by phone, Ola could already achieve point-to-point transfers through smartphones and launched travel in remote areasAnd extended services such as hourly billing packages.From 2011 to 2014, Ola has successively won successive investments from Tiger Fund, Jingwei Ventures, Sequoia Capital, and SoftBank.In 2013, global travel represented Uber in cities such as New Delhi and Mumbai, but the services for the high-end market were once treated coldly.When Uber decided to launch a battle for the Indian market in 2015, its share was only 5%, and Ola had an absolute advantage in the scale of local users.Ola’s second phase is a “sister battle” with Uber in the local market.In 2015, Ola quickly integrated smaller competitors in the market at the time, such as TaxiForSure, and Uber invested a billion dollars in subsidies in the Indian market.At this point, the dual hegemony model officially started.If you use one sentence to describe this situation, it will probably be-Uber is vertical and Ola is horizontal.Uber in India began to abandon the original high-end route, began to corporal corporal, and open up the mass market.For example, the original persistent electronic payment slowed down, and the cash payment arrangement attracted a large number of ordinary users who did not have credit cards or were unwilling to use debit cards.At the same time, the price of UberGo has also been reduced to be cheaper than Ola’s cheapest service, which is only 7 rupees per kilometer (about 0.7 yuan).The wealthy Uber is burning money, and Ola, who “guards the rivers and mountains,” can only keep up with her head.Many innovative services were launched at the time, such as food service Ola Café and department store express Ola Store.Ola Fleet Technologies, a car rental subsidiary, has also been launched, and shuttle buses, motorcycles, and motor tricycles that are more in line with India’s national conditions have also been innovatively launched in an attempt to tap value and business opportunities in a wider range of scenarios.Facts have proven that the simplest and most rude but effective way is to rely on Dafa.Uber’s share of the Indian ride-hailing market soared to 40% for a time, and the number of users approached Ola.However, the reversal did not happen. On the one hand, Ola quickly launched a cheaper Micro service than UberGo. By subsidizing Ola’s market share, it began to widen the gap with Uber.At the same time, Uber’s hands are tied by a policy chain, which has to avoid social impacts and operational risks caused by bad events through enhanced security, and Ola obviously has more insight and flexibility in localization policies, such as coordinationMission to reduce carbon emissions (Mission Electric), jointly launched electric vehicles with the Indian government, and began to build infrastructure such as charging stations, while Uber has almost no electric vehicles in India.After this campaign, although the specific numbers of third-party data organizations are different, for example, the Indian market data tracking platform Kalagato believes that Ola has a leading advantage in the frequency of installations.AppAnnie believes that the two are close in order of magnitude, with Ola downloading 60.3 million times in India and Uber downloading 56.7 million times.In any case, Ola’s occupying the top position in the Indian online car charting is already a consensus.Next, as the Indian winner of the “Anti-Uber Alliance”, Ola will also launch an attack on Uber’s core global market, especially in Europe.What’s interesting is that after experiencing the decline of Uber’s stock price and the failure of WeWork’s listing, SoftBank also put the opportunity to save money on Ola, providing a lot of money and resources for its journey to Europe and the impact on the IPO.stand by.So, can Ola successfully defeat Uber, a rival in Europe?Uber’s Pain and Ola’s Weakness Currently, Ola has maintained a good momentum in the UK market.Of course, the most important thing is to rely on peers.Therefore, its invasion strategy is aimed at Uber’s pain, and constantly rob users.For security.Ola announced the start of its business in London, just the day after Uber had its London licence revoked.In the announcement, it also specifically mentioned the use of facial recognition technology to verify the identity of the driver, as well as a 7 × 24 helpline and emergency button, which fully met the high standards of the Transport for London.”What Uber can’t do”, I don’t know if it is a connotation of passenger safety violations caused by Uber’s driver forgery.(Simon Smith, Ola’s head of international business) Another example is industry output.London is Uber’s largest European operating market, with a total of 45,000 registered drivers and 3.5 million passenger users. It is also its most profitable market outside the United States.But this does not mean that the actual local situation can actually earn relatively reasonable compensation from Uber.In fact, many European cities have confronted Uber.The UK Transport Agency has also decided not to renew its license for Uber’s lack of “corporate responsibility.”The Financial Times also commented that Uber’s legal development in Europe was weak.In contrast, Ola’s appearance was more inconvenient.On the one hand, the market has been able to accept the antecedents and consequences of this business model, and Ola has previously acquired about 7 million users in the UK.At the same time, Ola also increased the actual income of the actual people by “charging a lower commission”.At present, Ola’s plan to recruit 50,000 drivers in London is not difficult.This has exceeded Uber’s current scale of operations.Of course, this does not mean that Ola will definitely win against Uber in a non-home area.It should be noted that Ola’s “concessionary” driver’s behavior cannot be maintained for a long time. According to the IPO plan for about 2 years, Ola must make his profit statement look good.Once subsidized drivers’ behavior begins to be discounted, if there is no updated service or technical support, will the public change from boycotting Uber to boycotting Ola, I am afraid that it is a circle where the travel giants cannot jump out.At the same time, Ola wanted to develop derivative services, such as delivery delivery, same-city express delivery, etc., which have been repeatedly frustrated in the Indian local market, which led to it quickly shutting down the service due to losses.In 2017, SoftBank also lowered Ola Cabs’ valuation due to financial losses and financing decision issues.At the same time, Uber continues to add weight in India, coupled with the slowdown in the growth of the Indian travel market. Once Uber surprises in the country, will Ola’s overseas expansion situation shrink again, and the bamboo basket will be drawn, a question mark will be added..All in all, although Ola currently holds India’s base camp, it will be a tougher fight for Ola to show his fists in a foreign country.After all, strong dragons such as Uber are struggling in Europe, and Ola, who won with localization, is not so easy to change the rules.Born in distress: For the Chinese market where the “catfish” need to be quiet for a long time, can we see some differences in Ola’s Indian travel history?For example, although China’s leading travel companies are also entering the takeaway, bicycle and other service areas, and have carried out investment and mergers and acquisitions in extended areas, this is often only gradually developed after the market position is stable, and this expansion is often controllable.Compared with Ola and Uber’s actions in the Indian market, various business trial and error and strategic investments are carried out simultaneously with core business development. For example, Ola has successively acquired competitors TaxiForSure and Foodpanda, and Uber has allocated funds to open the Indian takeaway market.The world ’s highest financial budget has been reduced to $ 120 million.In the short term, this adds more uncertainty to the overall market structure, and both parties need to spend a lot of time and money in competition.In the long run, the Indian market cannot, like China, quickly communicate business models with large-scale vehicle travel.The confusion and low prices of travel tools continue to erode the profitability of core business. If the layout of the ecosystem is lost and services cannot be used to expand business, the possibility of future failure will be even greater.”The strong are not the strong,” which is the hardship of the Indian travel giants.In addition to rivals’ “dead fight”, the tight curse of government policy has also forced Indian giants to fight mentally and see who can take the lead in finding a solution.For example, in 2014, Uber received a prohibition order from the New Delhi government because a driver raped a female passenger, making it necessary to strengthen the investigation of the driver’s background and add a permanent GPS tracking system.And Ola also randomly launched the “One Click for Help” feature.Since then, Uber has quickly added the same functionality to its app, adding options for “Share ETA (estimated time of arrival)” and “SOS”.Uber ’s R & D center in India has recently collaborated with Safetipin, a well-known safety app in India, to provide a safety score for the current environment from 9 aspects, including environment, road conditions, security, and population gender, based on data collected from external cameras on the car.Different from this declining competition situation, it is known that Uber quickly sold off at the key nodes of the legalization of ride-hailing in China and directly pressed the exit button.But this also makes China’s travel market lose the opportunity to evolve in the competition, either relying on the self-promotion of the monopoly, or the policy industry.It has to be said that there is a commercial story about the existence of “catfish”, which is much more exciting.The cover image is from pexels.