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Is Uber a MaaS app?

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© Lyko
3 minutes

It needs no introduction… Founded in 2009 in San Francisco and then launched in 2010 by Garett Camp, Travis Kalanick and Oscar Salazar, Uber is an online taxi and ride-sharing service company. Since its IPO in December 2018, Uber has continued to grow. After a global expansion, the multinational company does not intend to stop there, and wants to become a multi-modal app at all costs. Find out in this article about Uber's latest strategic collaborations to achieve Super App MaaS status.

Uber and public transport

After its arrival more than a decade ago, ride-sharing services remain at the heart of the debate. Indeed, the public transport community still cannot decide about Uber's positioning. On the one hand, presented as an ally, it may be the solution to solving first and last-mile (door-to-door) trips, transporting passengers to the nearest public transport stations. On the other hand, as a competitor that attracts the wealthiest passengers by forcing those who remain to endure worsening congestion. However, on their side, Uber wants to be seen as a friend of public transport. But it is in 2018 that everything will accelerate… Indeed, the COVID-19 will clarify the debates.

Interest from public transport agencies has increased.

IVAN MIHOV, HEAD OF STRATEGY AND PLANNING FOR UBER TRANSIT AND CO-AUTHOR OF THE COMPANY REPORT
Uber X Moovit

In the wake of this catastrophic crisis in public transport, Uber has seized its chance and is proving to be an asset for public transport. On 31 January 2019, Uber is transforming itself to become a gateway to all forms of mobility. Indeed, it decided to partner with Moovit, the world leader in multimodal applications. As a result of this partnership, users were able to access real-time data from over 7,000 public transport agencies as well as the option to plan routes in 2,700 cities. And this directly in the application. An integration that moves Uber from a simple VTC application to a Tier 1 MaaS application. 

Uber X Routematch

Once it had taken the step into MaaS, Uber did not want to stop there. Indeed, on 16 July 2020, Uber announced the acquisition of software solutions provider Routematch. This acquisition combines Uber's global on-demand mobility technologies with Routematch's para transit, online payments, route planning tools, and scheduling services. The American giant is thus setting up a platform that allows users to plan and pay for a ride. An acquisition that shows how much Uber wants to expand.

Uber and micromobility

Following numerous studies, Uber found that there was a real craze for electric bikes and scooters in several major cities. These vehicles are attracting a similar clientele to their own.

This fact made the American group pay 139 million dollars, in April 2018, to acquire the electrically assisted bicycle start-up Jump. An acquisition followed the same year by an investment in Lime. Which is far from being the result of chance… Indeed, being enormously affected by the health crisis, Lime's valuation has continued to fall from 2.4 billion to 400 million dollars. A loss that led to the dismissal of 80 employees.

According to Maxime Lescrainier, consultant at Colombus Consulting: "these investments in micromobility are part of a broader strategy aimed at offering a complete package of services within a single application. The aim is to convince customers to give up their private cars".

But unfortunately, things don't always work out as planned. Indeed, following the decommissioning, the self-sharing electric scooter operator Lime resumed its activities, but without much success.

Disarray saw by Uber, which will come to the rescue of Lime by investing 170 million dollars. The opportunity for them to set up a link between its JUMP platform and Lime. Following this association, users can find Lime's services in the Uber application and vice versa. A few years later, Uber sold JUMP's activities to Lime, but it is still visible and usable in the Uber application. 

Uber becomes a Super App

We know Uber for short rides with a driver, or for meal delivery, but we must also follow the new features that could evolve in the coming months… Indeed, Uber is on the way to becoming a Super App MaaS. Last April, Jamie Heywood, CEO of Uber UK, said that Uber was embarking on a project to become a Super App. For this purpose, Uber has decided to integrate bus, train, and plane reservations into its English application. This test phase will allow for the experimentation of the Uber Super App. These features were announced in April 2022 and began to be introduced on 3 August. A metamorphosis is possible thanks to the partnership with the Berlin platform Omio. It's a safe bet that Uber won't stop there and will become a serious MaaS player. 

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