Ride-hailing goes global

International contenders take on Silicon Valley

The transportation industry was revolutionised by the introduction of peer-to-peer ridesharing 10 years ago. Now, as the market continues to grow, a host of new global platforms are stepping in to transform the market once again.

The ride-sharing market is booming, and – despite recent roadblocks – shows no signs of slowing down. Globally, the market is predicted to reach $170 billion by 2025, up from $43bn in 2017, according to Adroit Market Research. This growth is making room for new players around the world, challenging market leaders and expanding the original ride-hailing model into a nimble, omnichannel suite of services.

Indian ride-hailing unicorn Ola is setting a stake in Uber’s backyard with plans to establish a technology and research centre in Silicon Valley later this year dedicated to autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence. In July 2019, the company also secured a license to operate in London, Uber’s biggest market outside of the US. The company recently received a $250 million investment from SoftBank to scale its fleet of electric vehicles.

In China, ride-hailing services are proliferating and pivoting to address a variety of offerings, while attracting the attention of big investors in doing so. Also in July 2019, Visa announced plans to invest in Indonesia-based ride-hailing startup Gojek to build out Visa’s in-app payment platform. This follows a $1bn investment in January 2019 from a number of heavy-hitting tech companies including Google, Tencent and JD.com, to support the south-east Asian expansion of Gojek’s mobile payment and food delivery services.

Gojek started with a fleet of 20 motorcycle taxis in 2011 and has since expanded to offer a wide-ranging portfolio of services including transportation and logistics – comprising the original taxis plus shipping and moving services – food delivery, and personal care services such as on-demand massages, manicures and waxing. The company now serves over 500 cities across south-east Asia with over two million drivers, 400,000 merchants and 60,000 service providers under its network, and it saw a 1,100% growth in transactions on its platform between June 2016 and June 2019.

In April 2019, Singapore-based ride-hailing app Grab announced a new suite of services for seamless activity planning. The new services allow users to book hotels, purchase movie tickets and stream video on-demand through the Grab app. This rollout follows a collaboration with Chinese insurance giant Ping An in August 2018 that made healthcare another potential enhancement of Grab’s omnichannel toolbox, on top of mobile payment, food delivery and online booking.

This rapid growth is not limited to Asia. InDriver first launched in Russia in 2012, but has found recent success in Africa; the company has experienced a rapid expansion over the past eight months and has announced ambitious plans to grow its operations across the continent. Since launching in Arusha, Tanzania in November 2018, InDriver has expanded to Kenya, Uganda, Johannesburg and Cape Town. The company has set its sights on four additional countries, recently announcing plans to enter cities in Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe and Namibia.

Read more from Wunderman Thompson Intelligence

Emily Safian-Demers

Trends Analyst, Wunderman Thompson Intelligence

published on

02 December 2019


Experience Technology & innovation

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