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Justdial plans a cab booking app to take on Olacabs, Uber & Others


Directory services company Justdial is developing a cab-hailing app, that will allow users to book any type of cabs, including traditional cabs, cool cabs, private cabs and branded cabs, Justdial founder VSS Mani has mentioned during the company’s Q2-FY15 earnings conference call. Users will be able to check which cabs are available near their location and check the rates for each type of cab, before booking it.

He mentioned that there are about 3500 cab rental companies registered on Justdial, which will all be part of the app. More interestingly, Mani mentioned that a market survey conducted by Justdial revealed that a large number of cab drivers and car owners, some of whom are associated with “some brand or the other”, indicated that they would love to download this app and make their availability known to the Justdial users. Drivers working with any cab rental company will be able to offer their services through the Justdial app, during their free hours. Car owners will also be able offer their services during idle periods.

So, how is this different from what Olacabs and Uber offer? Both Olacabs and Uber also operate as platforms where individual drivers or cab rental companies can sign up to offer their services. Also, Olacabs had started allowing its mobile app users in Mumbai to book the traditional Kaali-Peeli taxis in the city. So, in that respect as well there is no difference between what Justdial is planning and what’s already on offer in the market.

OlacabsMeru Cabs and Taxiforsure have all launched in-app prepaid wallets over the past couple of months, to further simplify the booking process. And Uber was reportedly in talks with mobile-only marketplace and digital wallet service Paytm and online payment gateway PayU to integrate a digital wallet with its payment process. It will be interesting to see if Justdial integrates its planned payments platform for Search Plus suite of services called JD Cash with the cab-hailing app.

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Mani also hinted that Justdial is interested is developing similar apps for hailing an ambulance or towing service, electrician, and plumber among others, as the core technology behind the app would remain the same. He also mentioned that more than on the technology front, the real challenge in regards to such apps would be in educating the vendors about these products.

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