Ola, Lyft, Didi Kuaidi and GrabTaxi Partner to rival Uber

by Q3 Technologies Q3 Technologies - Building Quality into Software

Four ride-sharing services, namely Ola, Lyft, Didi Kuaidi and GrabTaxi have entered into a partnership that would allow users to avail services in each of the company’s respective region. This partnership will take effect from Q1 of 2016.

In a joint press release, the companies said, “Together, these companies now cover nearly all of Southeast Asia, India, China and the US, reaching nearly 50% of the world’s population. Joint partner products will start rolling out in Q1 2016. Each country will handle mapping, routing, and payments through a secure API.”

Ola has services in India, Didi Kuaidi operates in China, Lyft operates in the United States, and GrabTaxi operates across Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and Singapore. Each service offers users the ability to book a cab on demand using the internet.

By partnering, the companies will share local knowledge, technology and resources, while users will be able to avail services of each of the partners when travelling to different parts of the world. This would seriously help users who face language, cultural and social barriers when travelling. Companies looking to expand to other parts of the world face the same issues.

 “We are pleased to help Lyft, Didi and Ola offer transportation services in Southeast Asia where the significant diversity of language, culture and social practices across the region can be challenging for foreign companies to navigate,” said Anthony Tan, CEO, GrabTaxi.

“We are excited to partner with Lyft, Didi Kuaidi and GrabTaxi, allowing seamless mobility access across hundreds of cities globally for our combined user base that runs into hundreds of millions. This will also allow all four companies to learn from each other’s local innovations and successes that can help us in our shared mission to build better mobility solutions in our respective markets,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, CEO, Ola.

This partnership does not imply a merger between all four companies. The companies plan to be independent and focus only on their respective regions.

“We’re not excluding expansion to other places, but we are a startup and cautious about how we grow. The idea is not to merge and acquire but to find people we can work with. In China we have an urban population of 800 million but we are only currently serving 250 million, so we have a lot of room to grow, and this population will always be our priority,” said Didi Kuaidi.

This is a major step to match the highly-valuated Uber. Uber (operating in 64 countries), instead of partnering with other companies, takes a more aggressive approach to expansion into other countries by trying to compete with local players.

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