Uber Partners with Express Group, Indonesia’s Second Largest Cab Provider

21 Dec

By Mudit Mohilay, The Tech Portal

Uber seems to have come to the conclusion that fighting against domestic cab service providers isn’t really the best way to go about expanding its business overseas. After acquiescing to the takeover of Uber China by Didi Kuaidi, the cab aggregator has now signed a deal with Express Group, that will let the latter’s drivers use the former’s platform for greater profits.

The companies are going for a three month trial before making any more, lasting commitments. Under the terms of the deal, a select number of Express Group drivers will receive access to and will be able to use UberX service in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia.

This is a win-win situation for both the companies. While Express Go drivers will be able to use the UberX platform to generate greater profits, Uber customers will have a greater number of drivers available. Considering that Indonesia is well known for the huge rush on its streets, an increase in the number of cabs may serve to give Uber an advantage over arch-rival Grab.

Interestingly, this wave of friendship comes months after Express Go drivers joined other cabbies in staging a huge protest against Uber and other app based companies. The reasons for the protest were the same as they were elsewhere — Drivers felt that Uber and its cadre were robbing them of their customers, as they probably are. Although robbing is not the word I would personally use. Rather, users are finding app based cabs easier, safer and more convenient and as such, companies with the traditional business model are suffering.

Meanwhile, Uber’s latest partnership indicates a truce. The company appears to be signaling “there is plenty for all” and that instead of fighting, other cabbies are welcome to make use of Uber’s platform.

This partnership also mirrors, and will oppose the one formed between Go-Jek and Blue Bird. Go-Jek is a comparatively new startup that offered users access to motorbike cabbies through its app. The startup increased the number of wheels on the vehicles it offers from 2 to 4 after partnering with Indonesia’s largest cab provider, Blue Bird.

Meanwhile, this is merely a trial run and we will have to wait to see if both Uber and Express Go agree to take it further. It will be interesting to see how the companies proceed from here, An acquisition and a merger perhaps? Or access to the Uber platform for all Expredd Go drivers? Only time will tell.