Online travel agency Yatra will allows its users to order autorickshaws from Jugnoo through a partnership between the companies. Yatra users travelling to Tier II and Tier II cities can now directly place book autos via the Yatra Android and iOS apps, although the company did not mention the names of the cities.
According to Jugnoo, this will allow Yatra users will get fixed fares from and avoid getting over-charged. On a first-look, this is nothing but an API integration of Jugnoo’s on-demand services onto Yatra’s app, while the company claims that Yatra users will be provided with an “end-to-end last-mile commuting” to and from railway stations, bus stations, hotels, etc via Jugnoo autos.
It is interesting that Yatra has a deal with Jugnoo when it already had acquired rickshaw hailing app mGaadi in June last year. mGaadi has fleets of Boda Bodas (local bike taxis in Africa) and tuk tuks with customers in East Africa and South Asia. mGaadi had earlier piloted prepaid autos in Bangalore in March 2015.
There is not much benefit to a Yatra user with just an API integration, since any user can download Jugnoo app and order an auto. But it would make more sense if Yatra provides pre-paid/post-paid Jugnoo auto rides along with travel and holiday packages.
MediaNama has written to Jugnoo seeking more clarifications and the cities in which the Jugnoo integration with Yatra is live. A spokesperson from Jugnoo clarified that Jugnoo can be booked via Yatra app in all the cities where Jugnoo is present. “Since Jugnoo is an on-demand product, it can’t be pre-ordered or bundled with a holiday package. Autos have to be booked on real time basis with the available inventory,” added the spokesperson.
Note that this isn’t Yatra’s first deal with a taxi aggregator. In September the travel agency tied up with Uber to let Yatra users get an Uber cab from within the Yatra app. The partnership went live in 28 cities where Uber operated at that time.
Companies aggregating cabs via API integration
Apart from Yatra, online travel agency Via.com has a deal with Ola cabs allowing travel agents and customers on Via.com platform to book Ola rides for local and outstation travel. Ola was essentially opening up its services by integrating its API into Via.com—just like the Yatra-Jugnoo deal.
Ola had earlier opened up its API for developers in September 2015, after which companies like MakeMyTrip, Helpchat went on with the integration. Its competitor Uber had opened up its API for several other players:. Zomato users can book cabs to restaurants of their choice, Apple’s iOS 10 allows users to book Uber cabs using Siri or Apple Maps.