Since last few years, life for traditional taxi booking services has become almost unbearable. As cheaper transport providers are stepping in like Uber and Grab (Uber like app startup) have taken the market away from traditional taxi services.
In fact recently, Grab, the Uber’s biggest rival, acquired Kudo to boost its mobile payments platform. Though, neither Grab nor Kudo given the figure of the deal, but according to Techcrunch, it is potentially worth between $80-$100 million in total, and the deal is mix of cash and equity.
According to Crunchbase, the startup raised undisclosed seed and Series A rounds from GREE ventures, East ventures, and 500 startups.
Before acquiring Kudo, Grab’s only acquisition was a chinese ride-sharing startup called Youche back in 2013. The reason Grab acquired it is to form Grab’s Beijing office, which is one of its global engineering bases.
However, this time Grab planned for a much more strategic deal to expand further.
Last July, Grab started working on its own payments system GrabPay, with the focus to target Indonesia. The startup also announced plans for a R&D center in India for developing its payment push further.
After the acquisition of Kudo, the startup’s major focus is to develop its position in Indonesia. Grab believes that offering their own digital payment services can give them a stronger position in Southeast Asia’s transport market. In fact, the market is forecast to grow from $2.5 billion in 2015 to $13.1 billion per year by 2025.
Due to this, Grab believes that with the help of Kudo, they can boost their mobile app payments. The startup basically enables people of Indonesia to buy items online who don’t have a bank account or lack internet access.
When Kudo started, it used point-of-sale kiosks located in public areas, but then they shifted on Agent model. Today, the startup claims to have 400,000 agents across 500 towns of Indonesia.
Grab says, “The Kudo team will join Grab and the Kudo platform will be integrated with Grab’s existing payment system. Grab will also support for the expansion of Kudo’s agent network in Indonesia to bring more riders & drivers, and GrabPay users on the Grab platform.”
Furthermore, Grab has also brought in a dedicated executive to lead this strategy. Jason Thompson, former managing director of EMEA & Asia for Euronet, will now handle the division.
Ever since Uber and other Uber like apps turned out to be a successful business in the transport industry, Entrepreneurs are now targeting such on demand marketplaces to offer different on demand services through developing mobile apps.
In fact, those who live in a metropolitan city with busy traffic and lack of parking space, most people refuse to own cars because of the available taxi services.
Thanks to on demand services such as Uber, Lyft, Grab, and ZipCar, people now get all the benefit of personal car rides without having to worry about a permanent parking space and car maintenance.
Therefore, developing on demand apps like Uber seems to be right choice for today’s transport companies or even for Entrepreneurs.
However, to develop a Grab or Uber like App and get into the Apple App Store and Google Play Store isn’t novice cup of tea. Taking a piece of ride-sharing market requires that you offer a frictionless access, great experiences for both users, and a strong brand recognition.
Can you improve the quality of an existing service and offer it on demand? If so, then you can be the next Grab or Uber.
To build Uber like app, first you need to attract both drivers and riders simultaneously. Target communities or cities where people are always interested in new tools.
Take Uber for example, they launched in San Francisco of majority of tech communities and they managed to spread word by mouth among the tech community.
How did they do it?
By hosting tech events and sponsoring few and giving the participants free rides for these events. From this, the early Uber adopters who didn’t like the quality of traditional taxi services took social media and blogging platforms to tell their friends about this cool new app.
Now, while this was a brilliant go-to-market strategy, you can’t repeat it. In fact, you need to also figure out what technologies you need to rely on for developing a successful Uber like app.
To create a taxi booking app, you need to understand the specifics of iOS and Android geolocation features.
On the bright side, you’re lucky because the technology has progressed, and it has become way easier to get information about user’s location.
First, you’ll have to identify a device’s location.
Now, the iOS platform uses CoreLocation Framework to locate a device. This CoreLocation Framework provides protocols and classes to configure and send location events in the server. In fact, this framework also lets you monitor a device’s movements.
For Android platform, the location of device can be tracked using Google location API. this API can help to manage location technology in addition to meeting several development needs for the taxi app development.
Once you’ve identified the device’s location, your app need to provide driving directions.
So, for your iOS app, you can integrate Mapkit to display point-to-point directions on the map in your app. After integrating, register the app as a routing app can make directions available to the Maps app on a user’s device.
All in all, geolocation features are the most important technology for providing efficient and effective ride-hailing on demand services.
After Geolocation features, your app must be able to send couple of notifications. The first notification should be sent when a driver accepts user’s request, another when the driver is less than a minute away.
You can send these notifications by having developer to implement it while developing your mobile app or you can also send SMS.
To implement push notifications, you can use Apple Push Notification Service and for the Android app you can use Google Cloud Messaging to implement efficiently.
However, one important thing to note here is that the Apple Push Notification service doesn’t guarantee delivery of push notifications. If a user is unavailable or offline, it’s not necessary that all push notifications will be received by the end-user.
To resolve this problem, you add an additional feature of SMS as it will always be delivered. In fact, if the SMS is not delivered, your SMS provider will inform you that message delivery is failed.
After Push Notifications, comes the most important part:
In this digital era, people often prefer cashless system. And, to remove any human-to-human cash transfers, your taxi booking app must be able to accept debit or credit cards.
Although, while accepting cashless payments, there are certain requirements that you need to comply with. In United States, it is known as PCI (Payment Card Industry) requirements.
The PCI is a set of requirements to make sure all credit card information maintain a secure environment. Now, to offer in-app payment integration, you’ll need to provide an in-app payment system just like Grab and Uber.
For this, you can partner with Stripe, Paypal, or other online payment service providers to accept card payments. And, while we’re talking about this, we should mention that Stripe is one of the leading and great payment system that also provides its services to Lyft, Uber, Instacart, Postmates, and many other popular startups.
You can also checkout our tutorial: How to Integrate Stripe Payment Gateway in Android App for reference.
In fact, you can listen to one of our senior Android developer Kunal Mehta about the Stripe Payment Gateway after successfully integrating it on one of our client’s app.
Now of course, competing for customers is a huge challenge for new ride-hailing startups, and finding the right mobile app development company is also a daunting task, but partnering with right outsource agency that has experience in building Uber like apps and also specializes in them can boost the chances of getting early success in the journey of your startup.
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