back to article Uber unleashes $1bn war chest to crack Indian market

Uber is to throw $1bn (£642m) of investment into the Indian market, in an apparent attempt to blast incumbent "sharing economy" taxi biz Ola out of the water. As the company clearly won't be investing in any physical infrastructure, the war chest will presumably be going toward an aggressive advertising and marketing campaign …

  1. cbars


    Yes, from what I've read, more unlicensed taxi cabs are just what that country needs. The majority of men would probably be very respectful drivers, but there does exist a certain... subculture.

    Bad idea.

    Edit: Apologies. Seems a crass observation. But it's one that worried me nonetheless

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: hmm...

      I don't think Uber make that problem any worse and it's possible they're slightly safer because the drivers are registered and tracked by a foreign firm with a reputation to protect.

      The people who are at risk would mostly be getting other cabs or auto-rickshaws with the same pool of drivers.

      Really its the attitude of society to this stuff that's the key. India is getting better, but it's still regressive compared to the (far from perfect) western world.

      More generally Uber are astonishingly better than their local Indian competition. You really have to experience Ola Cabs to know what hell is (and then experience their local counterparts to experience what hell could be if it were supported by Microsoft)

    2. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: hmm...

      Never mind who it is, there's a much bigger problem here.

      The sort of person who's up for scamming a few extra quid in their spare time as a fake taxi is, by definition, not the sort of person who shells out to have their car serviced on time and to standard.

      You'll be bloody lucky if it's got four legal tyres on it....

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It will go towards bribes

    Bribes of any officials that stand in their way, or can stand in the way of their competition, and more importantly bribes in the form of temporarily paying more to drivers to switch to Uber rather than stick with the local alternatives. Once so many drivers have switched the local alternatives go under, then Uber can shut off the flood of cash and the drivers will probably end up worse off as will the Indian economy. Guess they figure it will take about a billion dollars until they've choked the life out of their local competition.

    In its short life Uber has demonstrated quite clearly that it is a very unethical company run by very unethical people.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It will go towards bribes

      Yeah. They subsidise rides to the tune of about 150 rupees per trip (often more than the fare).

      It won't work though. India is a remarkably cost conscious country and if all the competition go out of business and Uber jack their fares up then competition will immediately spring back up to fill the gap with people suffering all manner of poor service to save small amounts of money.

      I see this as money down the drain for Uber, but as a westerner in Bangalore who would use it even if it cost twice as much (roughly my limit) it's a nice subsidy.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like