Uber Suspends Its Auto-Rickshaw Service In India
Uber has paused its auto-rickshaw service in Delhi. Called UberAUTO, the feature represented one of the car-hailing app’s attempts to localize to the Indian market. It launched in April and competed with a similar service from Ola.
Uber released a press statement that said “At Uber, we continuously experiment with products to ensure that we can provide the most efficient, affordable, and reliable ride to everyone everywhere. We are temporarily removing this product to solve specific problems that need to be resolved to help it scale.”
The company didn’t provide more details about the issues UberAUTO encountered.
Auto-rickshaws are a popular mode of transportation in Indian cities, but UberAUTO was up against rival services, including Ola’s (which is available in six major cities, including Delhi), and Jugnoo, which has raised $8 million in funding and lets users hail auto-rickshaws for deliveries in addition to transportation. Smaller contenders include MGaadi and AutoWale
In Delhi, UberAUTO also competed with the government’s own auto-rickshaw hailing app called PoochO.
India is Uber’s second-biggest market outside of the U.S., but it faces a formidable rival in Ola, which has the infrastructure and funding to quickly launch and scale localized services. Ola has raised more than $1.4 billion so far from investors including Didi Kuaidi (Uber’s main rival in China, another key growth market) and SoftBank.
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