Four leading personal transport app startups, including those in two of the world’s most-populous countries India and China, are forming a strategic global partnership against the dominant global cab-hailing service, Uber.
India’s most popular cab-summoning app startup Ola, China’s foremost cab-hire startup Didi Kuaidi, San Francisco-based ridesharing app Lyft, and Singapore’s GrabTaxi will offer seamless ridesharing coverage for travelers in India, China, South East Asia and the United States. India and China are the world’s fastest-growing ridesharing markets while the United States is the world’s biggest.
The partnership was announced on Friday in India. The four companies will start rolling out joint partner products in early 2016.
As an Uber alternative, the new partnership will allow international travelers to hail cabs overseas with their home country’s app and pay for the rides in their own currency.
The four startups are to tap into each other local market knowledge and business resources. Each country’s app will handle mapping, routing and payments through a secure API.
“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,”
said Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO of Ola in a media release announcing the news.
The partnership will allow the four companies to learn from each other’s local innovations and successes, he said.
Didi Kuaidi has consolidated market leadership across several main verticals in China and is now focused on applying big-data tools to innovate and enhance user experience, said Cheng Wei, CEO of Didi.
The partnership helps improve service by leveraging each other’s technology and expertise.
“This will be a win for the diversity and vitality of the global rideshare industry,” he said in the same media note.
Lyft co-founder and president, John Zimmer, said,
“This isn’t solely an alliance of four companies, but also an opportunity to have a greater impact on the future of our cities worldwide.”
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