Home » Rapido Disrupts India’s Cab Market With New Pilot Service After Dominating Bike Taxis

Rapido Disrupts India’s Cab Market With New Pilot Service After Dominating Bike Taxis

by Lucas Finis

Leading bike taxi app Rapido has launched a pilot program for car-based cab services in Hyderabad, marking the startup’s expansion beyond its wildly popular two-wheeler rides. The move could potentially upend the Indian cab market, currently dominated by Uber and Ola.

Founded in 2015, Rapido’s app has been downloaded over 25 million times as it has come to lead India’s bike taxi segment. It currently operates in over 100 cities with 10 million registered users. The company’s success stems from affordably meeting demand for convenient urban transportation.

However, intensifying competition in bikes compelled Rapido to diversify its offerings. Rival bike taxi apps like BluSmart and inDrive have entered with disruptive electric fleets and pricing models respectively.

Rapido’s cab pilot also aims to capitalize on gaps in the market, especially serving price-sensitive riders in congested cities poorly served by cars. The company feels its understanding of Indian consumers gives it an edge over Uber and Ola.


Rapido also plans to integrate intercity bus booking in partnership with Zingbus to expand its platform into a multi-mode transit marketplace. Zingbus’ strong national bus network will be linked to Rapido’s app to provide seamless booking.

Analysts feel the time is right for a shakeup in India’s cab industry. Market leader Ola in particular has faltered recently, with key executives exiting and criticisms around poor driver experience and pricing.

Rapido seeks to differentiate itself by focusing on affordability and strong customer service – pillars that fueled its bike taxi leadership. Its extensive network of bike drivers could also provide a supply-side boost as the company recruits car drivers.

However, significant challenges remain in taking on deeply entrenched players like Uber and Ola. Rapido still lacks the premium services and brand recognition the incumbents command amongst white-collar users.

Regulatory issues around bike taxis also persist, with legality disputed in some states. This uncertainty could impede Rapido’s overall expansion plans if it spills over to impact cab operations.

But Rapido has shown product-market fit and agility in its meteoric bike taxi rise. Its ambitious embrace of multi-modal transit could pay off by creating India’s premier super app for urban transportation.

Rapido’s diversification also comes at a time of flux for major competitors, opening a window to win customers and car supply. As India’s mobility needs grow, Rapido aims to emerge as the platform of choice across two-wheelers and four.

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