4 December 2015

Didi Kuaidi, GrabTaxi, Lyft and Ola users can use their apps in other countries now

Roaming was once only available for phone services. Then it came to cash withdrawals through the ATM. And now private transport-booking goes global with a Star Alliance-like partnership between booking apps that were previously region-bound.

Didi Kuaidi, GrabTaxi, Lyft and Ola have announced additional strategic partnerships that expand the global rideshare agreement that Lyft and Didi Kuaidi formed in September. 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 Q116.

Through this global partnership, the companies will collaborate and leverage each other’s technology, local market knowledge and business resources so that international travellers can seamlessly access local on-demand rides by using the same application they use at home. Each company will handle mapping, routing and payments through a secure API, providing a global experience for their customers.

As the local leaders, Didi Kuaidi, GrabTaxi and Ola will provide Lyft passengers traveling to Asia with ease, convenience, and reliability. Each company saw rapid growth in 2015:

 Didi Kuaidi is the world’s largest one-stop mobile-based transportation platform, providing 7 million rides per day across 360 Chinese cities. Didi Kuaidi holds an 83% market share in private car-hailing and a dominant position in all other verticals including taxi-hailing, bus and corporate services.

 GrabTaxi is the leading ride-hailing platform in Southeast Asia with 95% market share in third-party taxi-hailing and more than 50% market share in private cars. With up to 1.5 million daily bookings across six countries, GrabTaxi offers a wide range of options in one mobile app, including taxis, motorcycle taxis, private cars, carpooling and deliveries. (Editor's note: It has also recently received some positive reviews from friends.)

 Lyft is the fastest-growing rideshare service in the US, completing 7 million rides per month in more than 190 cities. In October, Lyft reached an annual gross run rate of US$1 billion and reached over 40% percent market share in San Francisco, California and Austin, Texas.

 Ola is India’s preferred mobile platform for personal transportation, available in 102 cities across the country. With more than 350,000 vehicles registered on its platform, Ola receives over a million booking requests a day.

“As Didi consolidates market leadership across all main verticals, we are now focused on applying more refined big-data tools to further develop product innovation and enhance the user experience,” said Cheng Wei, CEO of Didi Kuaidi. “The partnership with Lyft, GrabTaxi and Ola allows Chinese users unprecedented ease of international travel, and helps each of us improve our own services, leveraging our collective technology and expertise. This is a win for the diversity and vitality of the global rideshare industry.”

“We are pleased to help Didi, Lyft 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 of GrabTaxi. “We admire all three companies and have similar goals to improve the lives of drivers and passengers, while also helping to solve major transportation challenges for the long term. Under this umbrella, we see many opportunities to share ideas and best practices – from product innovations to driver support, technology developments and approaches for managing local operations in a rapidly-scaling organisation.”

“We’re excited to join with Didi, Grab and Ola to make global travel simpler for passengers. Together they will allow Lyft to offer the world’s best coverage, while building upon our shared vision of reconnecting communities through better transportation,” said Lyft co-founder and President John Zimmer. “This isn’t solely a partnership of four companies, but also an opportunity to have a greater impact on the future of our cities worldwide.”

“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. “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.”