Four ride-hailing services — China’s Didi Kuaidi, US-based Lyft, India’s Ola and Southeast Asia’s GrabTaxi – agreed to partner to scale up their services to compete against rival Uber.
Users of each app will be able to book transportation in each other’s region. Each company will handle “mapping, routing and payments through a secure API” in the countries they serve, the companies said in a statement.
The alliance puts additional pressure on Uber as it expands aggressively in Asia.
Didi and Lyft announced a strategic partnership in September to “make it easier for people to get reliable rides when they travel between the US and China”. The Chinese firm invested $100 million in Lyft as part of a financing round led by Rakuten earlier this year that also included Carl Icahn, Alibaba and Tencent.
Didi, China’s most popular ride-hailing service, invested in Ola in September. Ola, which operates in 102 cities in India and has about an 80 per cent share of the taxi-hailing business, has raised an estimated $500 million from Didi, SoftBank, Falcon Edge, Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and Tiger Global Management.
Didi in August also invested in Southeast Asian transport app GrabTaxi, which raised more than $350 million. GrabTaxi said it has 110,000 drivers on its platform with 11 bookings made per second.
Didi operates in 360 cities, with as many as 1.5 million drivers, and claims more than 200 million users, who take about four million trips a day using the service.
San Francisco-based Lyft has Asian operations in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand.