In the US, Uber and Lyft continue to dominate the ride-hailing space and over the last 12 months, both apps have seen impressive growth in terms of Android installs. In June 2015, Uber was installed on an average of 12.57% of all US Android devices and by May 2016, that number had jumped to 21.25%. On a smaller scale, Lyft grew their Android installs from 1.22% in June 2015 to 2.19% in May 2016.
However, though Uber has a much higher rate of installs, Lyft actually wins out on when looking at Active App Users, meaning how many of those who have the app installed actually use it on a daily basis. In this category, Lyft comes out on top by a long-shot and in May 2016, Lyft had an Active App usage of 4.96% compared to Uber’s 1.55%
Both ride-hailing apps were in the news recently after they announced their departure from Austin Texas, a city with a metro zone of over 2 million people. The departure is the result of a dispute with the local government who wanted to impose stricter regulations on the two companies. After Uber and Lyft lost the referendum, they kept their word and left the city, effectively firing 10,000 drivers and abandoning thousands of customers.
While the departure is still fresh, early data is not good and the Austin Police Department reported that in the first week after Uber and Lyft skipped town, DWI arrests were up 7.5% compared to the same time period in 2015. Clearly, there is a major need for new players to enter this void in the market, and in the month since the referendum, several other apps have been gaining popularity.
Some of these players include Fasten, Get Me, Wingz, FARE, and Ride Austin. Though many of these apps still have a very low rate of installs, the graph below shows the increased interest their respective websites have been receiving within Texas.
Of these apps, some are actually only available in Austin and a few other locations. Get Me currently operates in Dallas, Houston, Austin, Las Vegas, and San Antonio, FARE is available in Phoenix and Austin, Fasten works in Boston and Austin, and zTrip, claims Austin along with 9 other US cities. With favorable conditions and a good ASO strategy, these apps can translate their website traffic into app downloads and eventually active app users.
Though unique, Austin isn’t the only place in the US (or the world) where Uber and Lyft alternatives are making some headway. Of the apps mentioned before in connection with Austin, Fasten, FARE, Get Me, and zTrip have seen impressive growth spurts of current installs in the US over the last 12 months and are joined by carpooling app Via.
Available only in New York and Chicago, Via’s hook is that they are somewhere between a bus and a taxi. The app is similar to what Uber has created with uberPOOL but it’s unique premise has US Android users intrigued. Installs of the app rose from 0.005% in June 2015 to 0.02% in May of 2016.
Because of this unique platform, Via has been used primarily as a service to ride to and from work and looking at the apps weekly usage further asserts this claim. Looking at an average over the last 12 months, the app shows an extremely high usage rate on weekdays and a very low usage on Saturday and Sunday. In this regard, it seems Via has found its unique space in this increasingly cluttered ride-hailing world and other startups would be wise to look at them as an example.
As mentioned, the US isn’t the only place in the world where Uber and Lyft are seeing some competition and where local startups have been trying to carve out their share of the ride-hailing market. In some cases, these companies have been successful at disrupting the market, but in other cases, Uber still reigns supreme.
In Australia, Uber is far and away the top ride-hailing app around. Over the last year, Android installs of Uber have been increasing steadily and though the app was only installed on 4.4% of Android devices in June 2015, that number more than doubled to 10.8% in May 2016.
Two smaller ride-hailing apps have also popped up in Australia though neither has seen the kind of growth that Uber enjoyed. GoCatch and ingogo are two Australian taxi start-ups trying to disrupt the market by providing an alternative to Uber. GoCatch’s selling point is that they claim to be cheaper than Uber X and do not charge surge pricing. Similarly, ingogo works exclusively with taxis, but unlike GoCatch and Uber, they offer a fixed fare for all cab rides. Both taxi apps have seen a mostly stagnant rate of Current Installs over the last 12 months, with GoCatch installed on 0.48% of Australian Android devices.
Both taxi apps have seen a mostly stagnant and slow rate of current installs over the last 12 months but more worrying is that both apps have a decreasing amount of Active App Users. With some initial growth spurts over Q3 and Q4 2015, these apps are both seeing a decline in their users over Q1 and Q2 2016.
In France, Uber is still the top app for finding rides, but unlike Australia, the local startups are showing signs of healthy growth. Heetch and Chauffeur-Privé have both grown their install base immensely over the last 12 months and both have a unique hook that differentiates them from Uber. Heetch, for example, bills itself as an app that will help you “enjoy your night out” and is available in Parid, Lyon, and Lille.
However, despite Heetch’s recent success, the app has run into issues with the government similar to Uber and Lyft’s issues in Austin. The company has gone on trial recently and is charged with running an illegal service. If Heetch does disappear from town, there may be a similar unfortunate ride in DWIs especially since looking at their time of day data proves that the service is used almost exclusively at night.
Germany, like several other European countries, is a big user of the ridesharing app BlaBlaCar. With a promise to connect people to empty seats, the app has enjoyed a high rate of installs and as of May 2016 was on 3.41% of Android devices in the country. Compare this to Uber, who only had their app on 0.49% of German Androids and it becomes clear that BlaBla car is the country’s go-to ride app. Alongside these apps, Flinc, a local German startup has made its service available in nearly every German city and has seen installs grow slowly and steadily over the last 12 months.
According to SimilarWeb’s Transportation Usage Rank in India, Uber is the number 2 ranking app, second only to Ola cabs. With headquarters in Bengaluru, Ola cabs has become India’s most popular mobile app for taxi booking. In March of 2015, the company even acquired one of its biggest rivals in the Indian market, a taxi aggregator called TaxiForSure. Despite TaxiForSure’s recent decline in installs, the app represents yet another area of growth for Ola cabs, and has helped them further take on Uber in India.
Israeli Taxi app Gett is becoming well-known around the world especially after it was announced that Volkswagen made a $300 investment in the app last month. In Israel, the app enjoys an extremely high rate of Android installs and as of May 2016, 13.5% of all Israeli Android devices had Gett installed. Furthermore, over the last 6 months, Gett has had an Active App User base of over 5%.
In the Israeli Market, two apps have been competing over second place and both have familiar names. Uber has been successful at increasing installs and has grown to service both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. On the other hand, Waze Rider, Waze’s solution to the ridesharing economy, has seen installs grow at a much faster rate. The Google-owned app is poised to pass Uber in installs and is set to take on the US market very soon.
In the UK, like the US, Uber has little competition when looking at both installs and active users. As of May 2016, Uber had an Android install rate of 5.51% compared to 0.15% for Hailo and 0.26% for Gett, two competitors in the British market.
In many other countries around the world, local startups are trying to disrupt Uber’s domination and provide their own unique service. In some cases, users will find this service fills a need that Uber doesn’t or perhaps users just see the app as a better version of Uber. If, however, users see no added value, installs will drop or remain stagnant and active users will steadily decline. To avoid going the way of Sidecar, an Uber competitor which shut down late last year apps need to discover a user base, build retention, and cause users to fall in love with their app
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