The history of market aggregators taxi Ride at $300 billion

For America’s first important milestone in the history of “self-employed taxi drivers” can be called the height of the great depression. Then remaining unemployed new Yorkers EN masse began to engage in private taxi driver. In the end, the machines became almost more than passengers. To control the industry was difficult, and the authorities decided to intervene. Since 1937 all city taxis are obliged to have a license. So from the streets has gone “private”.

After 40 years on the background of the oil crisis, the U.S. government began to encourage the concept of shared trips (the so-called “ridesharing” or “carpooling”). Drivers who take travel companions, allowed to use dedicated lanes on highways. Through this and other measures to the eighties, nearly a quarter of Americans have practiced a joint trip on the intercity routes.

And aggregation “privateers”, and travel together – the concept is not new, however, both of the market has significantly changed with the advent of technology. Now this it pioneer in the US market, many believe Uber. However, as can be seen, the company founded by Travis Kalanick and garret Camp in 2009, nothing new has come up and became a mediator between passengers and “private traders” not just service in General was conceived as a service combines booking of limousines.

In 2007 in the United States launched the Zimride project. He connected with each other users of Facebook for collaborative long-distance trips. It is from Zimride in 2012 grew by Lyft. He is now the main competitor of Uber in the U.S. market.

Key functions of a modern aggregator – ordering through the app, touch with the nearest driver, location-based services – as defined in the first years of competition Lyft and Uber. At the same time perfected the business model. In the battle for customers, the company began to allocate different tariffs to separate services. Available from a single application, they were built on different mechanics. For some services the company entered into a partnership with whole taxi companies, and others involved to work in a taxi “independent” drivers cars of different classes.

Capital played an important role from the earliest days of modern industry aggregators. One of the biggest players in the U.S. – Sidecar – in 2015, lost the race and closed. The company’s founder later saidthat the Sidecar was not able to compete with Uber, which by 2016 has attracted more than $5 billion investment.

In 2012, representatives of transport agencies for the first time at a high level discussed the problem of the aggregators. The main questions of all worried – how legitimate their business model and not subjected to whether they risk passengers. Until the issue is resolved, the individual States carried the first aggregators fines and forbade them to work in their territory. In 2013, California first allowed aggregators to link passengers and “privateers”. The operators put forward specific requirements for conducting inspections and driver training. The example of California was followed by Colorado and other States.

Meanwhile, leaders expanded in the United States and conquered new markets. Some of them base drivers increased from zero in 2012 to more than 140,000 in 2014. By the time the taxi drivers, Uber was earning the national average of $19,19 per hour. Declared Lyft the payment level was approximately 1.5 times higher. Services has unleashed a price war – the cost of salaries of drivers fell. On this basis, the indignation of the licensed taxi drivers led to the protests. In the summer of 2014, drivers in Washington D.C. staged a strike and blocked traffic on the city roads. They opposed the unfair competition with unlicensed colleagues. Last, although getting less than preferential tariffs, but did not pay fees and taxes. Such protests were held in other cities of America.


The us carriers started the European expansion in 2011. Long before that, in 2003, drivers and passengers in London through mobile technologies associated startup Zingo. He provided the automated system search for the nearest taxi driver. The user only had to call on a cell phone for room service, and the transmit data to the driver. Taxi drivers do not appreciate the advantages of the new service, as they had to pay for a subscription. At Zingo has accumulated millions in losses, and the company left the market.

In 2011 in Europe were the first local aggregators. They adopted the business model of American competitors and successfully implemented them at home. Local services, familiar with the situation, it was easier to win the trust of users and the location of taxi drivers.

In London, famous for its cabs, are strict requirements for taxis. Taking into account this feature in 2011 was built the service Hailo, connecting passengers with drivers of cabs. Hailo attracted investment and quickly grew. He even managed to enter the American market, where the company continued to work with licensed taxi drivers, but this model did not bring success. In the end, Hailo was absorbed by other European service MyTaxi, owned by Daimler. This company is growing from such transactions: in addition to Hailo she acquired Greek and Romanian Taxibeat Taxi Clever.

In 2013, 19-year-old entrepreneur from Estonia has launched a startup Taxify. Now the service has 10 million customers in 40 European and African cities. It is estimated at one billion dollars, and it can be safely called one of the leaders of the European market.

The expansion of the aggregators has become stressful for licensed European taxi drivers. As in the US, their growing discontent has led to protests. In 2014, taxi drivers in major European cities blocked traffic, demanding a “drive for Uber”. Complaints of taxi drivers are not left without answer: in 2017, the Highest EU court likened Uber to transport companies. This means that the service should be subject to the same rules as all taxi operators, including the licensing of drivers. In the same year, London authorities banned the operation of Uber as not meeting safety requirements.


As in Europe, in Asia, local leaders emerged almost simultaneously with the arrival of the international aggregators. In the Asian market, however, has its peculiarities. First, the concept of sharing here from the beginning applied not only to cars but also for bikes and bicycles. Second, foreign services in Asia had especially hard times. Authorities staged raids in their offices and were forbidden to work, while local taxi drivers were on strike together with the world.

The main feature of Southeast Asia is that today the “foreigners” here lost. This year it became known that the local leader – Singapore service Grab – acquires the entire regional business Uber.

Grab was created in 2012 in Malaysia. The service was working on the already famous aggregator, providing drivers with orders, but took a smaller fee than the taxis. And now on the horizon he’s the biggest deal for the industry – Toyota is going to invest in Grab a billion dollars.


Approximately the same as worldwide, takes place on the Russian market. In 2017, “Yandex.Taxi,” Uber has launched a major the merger, and this February closed it. Mail.Ru Group recently held a series of investments in the taxi market: in April, the funding received “Citymobil”, and in June , “Lucky”.

Russian taxi market is largely developed on his own script. In Russia historically the culture of the private carting. But we had no regulated market and need to buy a license for big money, as in the US. Drivers was enough to have a car as well as the desire and the ability to sometimes earn. This whole segment a few years was the “gray” area. Hence security issues. The market needed tools, connecting customers with drivers and ensure the safety of passengers, the mobile app features geolocation monitoring service and ratings of taxi drivers.

Such decisions were made to develop local players – they grew out of the “old school”, worked in Russia for many years and clung to its market share. Many of them started receiving phone orders and the gradual transition to the model of aggregation of a taxi, familiar to us now. Competition was a foreign services that have appeared in Russia in the early 2010’s.

The rapid growth of the Russian users of applications aggregators occurred in 2014. It happened for several reasons. First, to 2014-mu formed the backbone of the players in this field. On the one hand, increased competition with other competitors through common efforts we began to actively promote the taxi through the app. Because of this, practically every Muscovite realized that it’s convenient. In the end, increased the core of active users who recommend apps aggregators taxi to friends and family. Second, hand market has played an increasing penetration of mobile Internet. But the turning point came towards the end of the year. Advertising budgets, winter, cold, the holidays have done their job over the season only one application “Citymobil” experienced double growth of the customer base.

With the advent of aggregators in Russia “voting” from the streets disappeared, and the “privateers” were “legalized” – to register applications as drivers. However, when we talk about the emergence of aggregators in Russia, as a rule, we mean the capital market. In the regions is also actively pursuing development of the taxi industry, but the competition between aggregators here began later. In addition, the rate of penetration of mobile Internet in the country’s average is different from Moscow increased. In 2013, the nationwide penetration rate was at the level below 20%. By 2018, this figure has reached 73%. Nevertheless, Moscow still ahead of the other regions in terms of volume of mobile data traffic and penetration of the Internet, and the level of service of taxi.

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