Three on-demand ride-hailing startups are forming a global alliance to take on Uber, BuzzFeed News reports.
Executives at both GrabTaxi and OlaCabs, which are Asia-based companies that use taxis instead of private drivers, told BuzzFeed News they’re working on “forming a global alliance of regional players.”
These executives also suggested to BuzzFeed News that Softbank Capital — which has provided funding for both GrabTaxi and OlaCabs — is behind the potential alliance. Ron Fisher, a partner at Softbank Capital, told BuzzFeed he couldn’t comment.
The potential alliance, which may serve to unify regional ride-hailing markets, “would include knowledge sharing and maybe cross-booking,” Brian Cu, the co-founder of GrabTaxi, told BuzzFeed News. “If you’re in the Philippines, you can book a GrabTaxi using the OlaCabs app; it’s in the realm of possibilities, so maybe Softbank is trying to do that.”
Oneal Bhambani, the CFO of Flywheel, which offers a similar taxi-hailing service and is based in San Francisco, told BuzzFeed News his company was also made aware of a potential alliance. Bhambani has apparently talked to teh CEOs of OlaCabs and GrabTaxi.
This alliance would rival on-demand ride-hailing juggernaut Uber, which operates in 53 countries and 200 cities and raised $US1.2 billion in December at a $US41 billion post-money valuation. To date, Uber has raised $US3.3 billion in funding, and has proven itself to be more than just an on-demand car service startup: by dipping into experimenting with food delivery, moving, on-demand flu shots, and more, Uber could prove itself to be a large-scale dispatch and logistics company.
In a blog post announcing the company’s latest round of funding, CEO Travis Kalanick said the new funding would be used to create more than 1 million jobs in 2015 and to “make significant investments, particularly in the Asia Pacific region.”