Ri­val firms swarm in

The East African - - OUTLOOK -

THE DE­CI­SION not to re­new Uber’s li­cence to op­er­ate in Lon­don has given ri­val apps a boost, re­search sug­gests. In the 48 hours fol­low­ing the de­ci­sion, Ad­di­son Lee, Gett and My­taxi all saw a spike in down­loads, ac­cord­ing to an­a­lyt­ics com­pany App An­nie.

All saw thou­sands more down­loads than usual, de­spite Uber con­tin­u­ing to op­er­ate in Lon­don as usual while it ap­peals against the li­cence de­ci­sion.

The ri­val apps re­main dwarfed by Uber, which was still down­loaded the most. Fig­ures from App An­nie sug­gested that, when added to­gether, down­loads of the three apps were up at least 159% com­pared with the same time the pre­vi­ous week.

How­ever, all three apps pro­vide a dif­fer­ent ser­vice to Uber. Ad­di­son Lee is an in­de­pen­dent pri­vate-hire com­pany that po­si­tions it­self as a pre­mium of­fer­ing, while Gett and My­taxi let pas­sen­gers book Lon­don’s tra­di­tional, but more ex­pen­sive, black cabs.

My­taxi’s own fig­ures sug­gest the app out­per­formed App An­nie’s es­ti­mates.

The com­pany told the BBC it had ex­pe­ri­enced a 250% in­crease in down­loads on Fri­day and “en­joyed the high­est week in the last few years for new pay­ing cus­tomers us­ing the ser­vice”. Ad­di­son Lee told the BBC it had ex­pe­ri­enced a 180% in­crease in down­loads over the week­end fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment, com­pared with the pre­vi­ous week­end. In a state­ment, Gett said: “Since last week, we’ve seen a huge jump in the number of or­ders - one day last week we did 125% of our av­er­age ride vol­ume.” It said it had seen down­loads in­crease by more than 100%, and peo­ple who had pre­vi­ously down­loaded the app were “re­turn­ing to Gett or rid­ing for the first time be­cause of their con­cerns about the al­ter­na­tives”.

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