It’s now officially Uber vs everyone else in the space of technology-led cab aggregation businesses. Uber’s Indian rival Ola and Chinese rival Didi Kuaidi have come together with US-based service Lyft and Singapore’s GrabTaxi to announce a global partnership between the four companies. This will mean a customer with any of these apps will be able to use each other’s platform when traveling to another country. The companies said in a statement that together they cover half of the world population. Together, they have raised more than $7 billion. They also have common backers. Uber’s real headache from here on would be to worry about its biggest rivals in disparate markets coming together.
Lyft had raised $100 million from Didi Kuaidi in September and had partnered with the Chinese company. This essentially means, their respective users can hail rides from drivers of the other app while they are traveling to the other country. This was clearly a step in the battle against Uber, as it is the only player that is operating in 60 countries worldwide. With the new partnership, these companies now cover nearly all of Southeast Asia, India, China and the United States, reaching nearly 50% of the world’s population.
According to a release announcing the partnership, the companies will collaborate and leverage each other’s technology, local market knowledge, and business resources through this global alliance. So, now international travelers can access local on-demand rides by using the same application they use at home. Each country will handle mapping, routing, and payments through a secure API. In order to give a stronger rebellion to Uber, Ola acquired its rival Taxiforsure in March 2015.