Uber adds Delhi auto rickshaw service as Indian competitor lands $315m

India taxi

Uber has introduced a new category for hailing auto rickshaws in New Delhi, the first of its services to allow cash payments in the country.

Hailing an auto rickshaw happens in the same way as with any other kind of Uber vehicle in India, but since this is a cash-only service for now, customers can hail autos even when their Paytm wallet has run dry.

Fares for the new service will be calculated using existing transport regulations, TechCrunch reported.

Uber’s biggest competitor in the country is Ola, which raised $315 million new funding from DST Global, Tiger Global, Steadview Capital and Accel Partners. A source close to the matter told TechCrunch that this funding is part of a larger round that the company is close to completing.

Uber has faced some regulatory problems in India, forcing it to integrate the Paytm mobile wallet. However, cash payments are still an important payment method in the country, and pandering to that fact could help the taxi hailing company with their big Indian push. Uber currently services 11 cities in India, making it its biggest market after the US.

 “When it comes to getting around Delhi, auto-rickshaws are a staple,” Uber said in a blog post. As the cheapest and most common way to get around the city, they already compete with Uber’s service for passengers. On top of that, those who are drawn to Uber’s app for an auto rickshaw may eventually use other Uber services with higher margins for the company than a rickshaw.

Uber is still running its Delhi services under a ‘no profit’ model in response to the reported rape of a passenger by an Uber driver. This means that UberAuto passengers will not have to pay booking fees or a service charge on top of the fare.

Uber’s biggest competitor in the country is Ola, which raised $315 million new funding from DST Global, Tiger Global, Steadview Capital and Accel Partners. A source close to the matter told TechCrunch that this funding is part of a larger round that the company is close to completing.

Covering 40 cities and towns in India Ola remains the overall market leader. But Uber is focusing its attentions on expanding its services in India’s biggest cities. It now offers four different ride options in New Delhi – Uber Black, Uber X, Uber Go and Uber Auto.

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