Looking at the success of Uber and Lyft there have been numerous ride sharing copy cats popping everywhere. Just look at the example of Ola Cabs, the Indian version of Uber. Started in 2010 by Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati; Ola now rivals Uber in their local market and is one of the top competitors of Uber in India. Since its inception, Ola has now started their overseas campaign and are now currently operating in Australia as well. Boasting a revenue of 140 million USD in the year 2014-2015, Ola Cabs is one of the few Uber copy that has made it big in the market.
However, this is not the case for all new taxi hailing apps that come into light and immediately never see the light of the day again. This article will give you a glimpse into what it takes to start a rideshare company. Now I will get into the nitty and gritty part of starting your own online taxi app, it takes a lot more time, energy and money then you realize. However don’t let this discourage you in your endeavours.
Remember that creating an online taxi app is more than just developing an app. You need a clear objective and the type of service that you are going to offer. Developing an Uber Clone app can be a very tedious, time consuming and expensive project. So before you implement your coding ventures, you need to take the following points in mind.
First and foremost, you need to realize that you cannot straightup compete with big name companies such as Uber, Lyft or Ola Cabs. Even if your app does and features the same things as that of these multinational giants, you will not be able to compete with these established taxi app names. The reason is that they have the ‘first move’ advantage. These companies have been around for years and already have a huge established customer base who regularly use their service. Furthermore, the reason why Uber, Lyft and Ola Cabs became popular was because the taxi service is beyond terrible at that time. Before Uber, Lyft and Ola Cabs, there was no easy option to book a cab, or pay using your credit card and etc; this is the reason why these companies popped off the way it did.
Now you are here trying to disrupt Uber, Lyft and Ola Cabs; however there is almost little to nothing that you can offer that can potentially disturb or convert them. Why should customers who use Ola, Uber and Lyft convert to you when you offer them nothing special? This is the reason why you will need to find a niche to fill. With how big Uber, Lyft and Ola Cabs are, this opens up a unique path for you to take when you create your own online taxi app. Big companies typically prioritize growth and scalability and as such neglect some sectors by diverting resources away from them. This is also the case for Uber, Lyft and Ola Cabs.
One such example would be creating an Uber for kids. There are numerous cases of families in huge metropolitan cities that have to drive their kids around all day. However, Uber has a history of lax background checks on their drivers and there have been numerous stories circulating on the net. This is one such sector that is neglected by Uber and could potentially be your golden ticket if you play it right. So imagine if your online taxi app is catered to just driving children around, with great background checks on the drivers, amenities in the taxi, dashcams and security for children, you have a niche that you can fill and possibly not have big name companies such as Uber, Lyft and Ola Cabs as your competitors.
Well, this exactly what “Hop Skip Drive” did. Parents can schedule rides for their kids such that the cab is waiting for your children after school and drives them off for sports/music/anything practices that they may have. There are further in-person interviews of the drivers with the parents as well as fingerprint based background checks. The company ‘Hop Skip Drive’ has been successful in obtaining 10 million USD in funding.
So before you get into the hassle of creating an online taxi app; identify the perfect niche for you to control. An uber clone cannot beat uber, you will need more than an app to start a successful business, what you truly need is an idea that can change the taxi business.