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Uber Competitors and Alternatives: Who Stacks Up Against this Ride Share Company?

Brent Davis - June 11, 2021

Uber Competitors

Uber is an American company that is located in San Francisco, California. The company was founded in 2009 by Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick. 

The company began as a way to disrupt the taxi industry by connecting users with drivers via its app. The first-ever Uber trip happened in 2010 in its hometown of San Francisco. 

The company has experienced rapid growth and now operates in 69 countries. The business has expanded to include a food delivery service called Uber Eats, courier services, and electric scooter rental.

Originally known as Ubercab, the company rebranded to Uber in 2011. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol UBER.

It is part of the stock market index the Russell 1000 Index Component. In 2020 Uber reported total revenue of $11.139 billion and had an operating income of $-4.863 billion.

There was a downturn in income due to the COVID-19 Pandemic which reduced the need for public transport, thus affecting the core business.

However, during this time the Uber Eats division benefited from an increase in food delivery. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest Uber Competitors!

Uber’s Biggest Competitors

Uber Competitors

In the United States Uber is the leading ride-hailing company with a market share of over two-thirds. Its biggest rival is Lyft in the United States, which offers a similar experience to Uber. 

The taxi service is Uber’s primary business which connects users with drivers in their city. The company also offers its services for businesses which can be accessed from the same app. 

Uber was able to disrupt the taxi industry by offering a more transparent service. The company told you how much the ride will be, where your driver is, and you could pay by card, making Uber very convenient.

Its Uber Eats business is another revenue stream that brings in significant income for Uber. This service is available in many of the countries that Uber serves and covers more markets than any other food delivery service

It uses its network of drivers and dedicated cyclists to deliver food from restaurants that don’t have a delivery network. Uber partnered with Lime to introduce electronic scooters to major cities around the U.S. 

Now let’s take a look at the companies that are Uber’s competitors and alternatives:

  • Lyft – A direct competitor for Uber’s North American business.
  • DiDi – The most popular taxi-hailing service in China with 550 million users.
  • Grab – A popular Asian food delivery and taxi-hailing company.

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Uber Competitors: Lyft

Uber Competitors

Lyft connects users looking for a ride with drivers in their area. It’s a very similar service to Uber and it is common for people to have both apps installed on their phone. 

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The company was founded in 2012 by Logan Green and JohnZimmer. The company has its headquarters in San Francisco, California, and has grown to operate in over 650 cities in the United States and Canada. 

Lyft has around 30% of the market share for the ride-hailing industry which makes it a major player but lagging behind Uber.

The company is publicly traded and is listed on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol LYFT. In 2020 the company reported total revenue of $2.364 billion and had an operating income of $-1.808 billion.

The decline in income is also a result of the COVID-19 pandemic which has heavily affected the industry in America. 

Alongside its ride-hailing service, the company has introduced electronic scooter rentals and bicycle sharing schemes in major cities across America.

Uber Competitors: DiDi

Uber Competitors

 

DiDi is a Chinese company that serves Asian countries, Australia, and Latin America. The company was founded by Cheng Wei as Didi Dache after he left Alibaba. 

The company has formed commercial alliances with other hailing companies including Uber to expand its services. It is the most popular taxi-hailing service in Asia with around 550 million users registered.

The company boasts a driver network in the tens of millions and completes over 10 billion rides each year.

The company is privately held so its financial information is not readily available. Its domination of the Chinese and Asian markets has hindered Uber’s growth in the area. 

In 2016 Uber sold its Chinese operations to DiDi in exchange for an 18% stake in the DiDi. In 2019 the company reported it generated annual revenue of $9.5 billion.

Uber Competitors: Grab

Uber Competitors

Like DiDi, Grab is an Asian company that operates primarily in that part of the world. The company was founded in 2012 by Anthony Tan, originally called GrabTaxi. 

The company has grown to include operations in eight countries and has its headquarters in Singapore. The company is a popular ride-hailing service that also has a food delivery division.

As of 2019, there are over 6,000 people working for Grab. The last reported revenue was from 2018 and the company had reached annual revenue of $1.1 billion in that year.

The company is privately held and has proven to be an attractive investment. The company is the first Southeast Asian startup to have a valuation of over $10 billion. 

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Uber’s Advantage

Uber’s size is its biggest advantage. It already has two-thirds of the market share which gives it a comfortable lead. The company has been able to expand into more territories than any of its competitors. 

Even in areas where it underperforms it has the financial backing to buy its way in like the company did with DiDi in China. Uber’s app and services are very convenient which has helped it to disrupt the aging taxi industry.

They have been able to enter new markets such as the food delivery industry with relative ease. This is due to their extensive driver network and app technologies.

Uber Competitors and Alternatives: Final Thoughts

Uber may be the biggest company in its industry, but challenger firms like Lyft are hot on Uber’s heels. The company is also locked out of some key markets like the Asian markets because of DiDi and Grab. 

Uber can maintain its position at the top of the industry by focusing on the markets it is already in. The company can be at the forefront of emerging trends such as bicycle sharing schemes and electronic scooters.

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Brent Davis has been writing about the financial markets for 10 years and worked in research for the last five years at a Fortune 500 company. Brent's investing strategy is to buy high-quality companies and then let compounding do its thing.