Tag Archives: uber

Africa Ride will compete with Uber in South Africa

Uber may be prevailing in almost each country in the world, but it currently faces some big problems occurring worldwide with drivers feeling consistently short changed by the company.

Africa Ride is available on iOS and Android platforms and enables users to order private drivers, while proceeding the process of that driver in-app. In terms of operation it is very similar to Uber and its online finding drivers via an app. The crucial difference lies in real driver involvement in the business. Africa Ride empowers each and every driver by giving them ownership of a percentage stake in the business unlike the transportation giant.

Africa Ride app offers corporate accounts with weekly and monthly payment terms with the option to pay by wallet, and passengers can choose drivers according to the area they are in. It also offers personal customer care services disrupting the standard of speaking to an app that promotes trust between the firm and its clients.

Africa Ride operates in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Rustenburg. It is going to spread in the next few months to markets which have never used this type of service before.

Local firms fighting back and succeeding is not something we see often. International powerhouse brands permanently spread into African territories, conquering the market and truly putting solid stress on local companies. Africa Ride is looking for funding to hit new markets, but already has over 500 drivers in its system.

UMER, a Russian ‘Uber’ for the deceased

Umer is a new app coming from Russia and made by Dmitriy Geranin whose purpose is to support people organize funerals for their loved ones. It is as convenient as transportation application Uber, but it assists you in organizing funerals, not rides.

A user selects the search key parameters by choosing the ritual and all the needed funeral accessories such as coffin and wreaths. Additionally the application helps to become familiar with current prices and a broad scale of funeral market. The application’s name is a play on “Uber”, shifting just a single letter to convert it into the Russian word for “Died”. There had been a few longer versions of the name, like “Kto-to umer” (“Someone has died”). Finally the creators decided to have a shorter and more brief and clear “umer” (“died”). The app is easy in use: there are a couple of fields to enter, providing information on who died and when, his or her religious confession and contact details. Then it presents the final price for services, which will be determined after the user agrees with the terms.

Umer isn’t yet up and running. It is still in development, however it has already made notable interest online. There exist some similar apps in the world, yet they are not introduced in such a truculent manner. And also there are in Europe many websites providing funeral arrangements.

Such application will rather not be downloaded without a special need. Yet, its creator has no doubts that people will recall Umer when they need it. The app is not a rival for funeral houses, cemeteries, nor other local services. It will rather bring them to clients, just like another distribution channel for them.

The creator is already negotiating franchise possibilities with Belarus and Estonia. If they succeed in Russian market, they plan to actively penetrate international market.

“Google tax law” in Russia

IT companies operating on the Russian market have started to pay VAT on the sale of electronic services in the Federation since 1st of January 2017. The rate is 18%. The relevant law, called in Russia “Google tax” was signed by Vladimir Putin at the beginning of July 2016.

The new rules apply to companies offering internet right to use their programs, including computer games and databases, and domains; providing services of advertisements placing; as well as selling electronic versions of books, music, video, etc. This applies, among others, to companies such as: Apple, Google, Microsoft and Uber.

Under the new law, foreign IT companies are becoming VAT payers. For their purpose, the Russian tax authorities will launch this year a special on-line service “Tax office”. It will cover the whole process of taxation from application to the tax office, by making a declaration and control of the settlement by the tax authorities. If any company fails to comply with the new regulations, it will be punished for illegal activity.

Foreign companies had already reacted to the new legislation by increases in prices of their services. The first, at the beginning of December 2016, was the US Google. It informed its Russian clients that file storage service Google Disc would become more expensive due to new tax regulations. Uber moved on its drivers the duty to pay taxes on provided services. The company announced that it does not intend to raise prices because of the new law and its drivers can count on subsequent reimbursement. Nevertheless, some Russian Uber drivers started to give up work. The US startup is trying to catch up the local leader in the market of private transportation, Yandex Taxi. Currently there are in Russia about 3,000 Uber cars, and Yandex Taxi has 15,000 cars. New tax regulations may enlarge this gap.

In the initial version of the Law on VAT for the IT industry, it covered Russian companies too. Yet, it met with great criticism from native industry. The arguments convinced the Kremlin and therefore the law covers only foreign providers of services via Internet. This is to convince Russian IT companies to leave tax havens and register their business in Russia.

uber courier and delivery

Uber will start with courier and delivery services in Poland

Uber drivers in Poland will start to provide courier services in theuber_london_request-screenshot present half-year term, and by the end of the year they will start with delivery of meals from restaurants. The US startup has teamed up with one large Polish e-commerce company to deliver parcels. This will probably be limited only to local transport within particular cities. Due to the lack of warehouses, Uber will be able to deliver faster and more efficiently than other courier companies. Over time, this service is to become nationwide.

screen696x696On the other hand UberEats application, with which you can order a meal to your home or office, from the very beginning will operate throughout the whole country. In the world this service is now available in nearly fifty cities, including: in London, San Francisco and Tokyo. According to company representatives, the delivery will be made within 30 minutes.

So far, the logistics industry in Poland is not afraid of Uber. But there are other threats. Expansion of the US company can mean a loss of privacy for users. Not only because the company already knows where we want to get, but they know our food preferences and at what address we receive our meals.

Uber appeared in Poland in June 2014 and quickly gained a bunch of enthusiasts. Its application is used by 300 thousand Poles who use it to order a ride. According to company representatives, Poland is for Uber the third most important market in the European Union. More important are only: the United Kingdom and France. What is more, late last year the American startup launched Centre of Business Services in Cracow. With an investment of $ 40 million, before the end of this year Uber will employ 150 employees. They will work on improving the application, so that its usage becomes even more comfortable and, as a result, brings more users.

Uber started mapping South African cities

Accurate maps are at the core of providing reliable transportation to everyone and everywhere. Uber has rolled out mapping vehicles in South African cities, beginning with Cape Town. The efforts can be compared to Google Street View vehicles. Uber uses a mix of mapping technologies to provide the underlying infrastructure for its apps. The fleet of cartographers is equipped with rooftop cameras, which will record street imagery of their surroundings, during rides around picking up passengers.

Data collected by Uber’s mapping vehicles will be used to improve driver efficiency by calculating more accurate estimated time of arrival and supporting drivers to choose the best route from one point do another.

Cape Town is one of Uber’s priority markets in Africa. There will be approximately 12 of these vehicles in Cape Town, followed by other cities in South Africa. Earlier this year we put mapping cars on the road in Mexico, Canada and the United Kingdom. Uber has spent $500 million on its global mapping project.

On the question of privacy – if you catch a ride, the devices do not retain any imagery at or around your initial pick-up or final drop-off locations. The imagery neither will be posted online,  nor be made available to the public. Uber will also accept reasonable requests to delete recorded images.