Global ride-hailing service inDriver brings ‘set your own price’ model to Melbourne

inDriver

Source: supplied

Global ride-sharing service inDriver launched in Melbourne on Monday, presenting local passengers and drivers with an alternative to existing players in the market.

InDriver first launched in Brisbane in March this year, and will soon be expanding to other Australian cities, with Sydney up next, followed by Perth and Adelaide. 

Unlike Uber and other app-based ride-sharing services like Didi and Ola, inDriver’s model allows passengers and drivers to set their own prices. InDriver provides a recommended price, with caps in place, but both passengers and drivers have room to negotiate. 

Passengers can suggest their price, and drivers can either accept the offer or make a counteroffer. Just as drivers can choose between the rides they want to accept, passengers can also choose based on offers from multiple drivers: it’s like an auction, with the haggling done quickly and efficiently on the app.  

This process, according to Mike Chauhan, inDriver’s Australian country manager, and Josh Tulgan, senior vice president of external relations, is key to ensuring both fairness and transparency. 

“We feel that the model we have promotes fairness and transparency,” Chauhan told SmartCompany, “and we’ve found that people respond really well to that”. 

InDriver also doesn’t use a surge pricing model, which means taxi fares are unaffected by demand and other factors like the weather. 

The company currently operates in over 600 cities in 43 countries and has over 100 million users, with some 1.3 billion rides completed in 10 years. What started as a social media group that connected disgruntled passengers to drivers in Eastern Siberia is now a unicorn, having raised US$150 million at a reported valuation of US$1.23 billion.

Disrupting a disrupted market

The fact that passengers and drivers can set their own prices is novel enough, but for both drivers and riders, inDriver’s model also promises control. 

Drivers can preview rider information (like ratings) and the full route and, most importantly, choose and skip rides without facing a penalty. 

Passengers, meanwhile, can suggest prices and make additional requests, like a children’s car seat or an additional stop. Based on the offers from the drivers, they can choose the driver they want to travel with, factoring in information such as driver ratings, estimated time of arrival and vehicle make/model. 

To ease local drivers into this new model, inDriver is also waiving commissions for six months. Chauhan claims that once this promotion period ends, the commission inDriver will charge from its drivers will be the lowest on the market. 

Based on the feedback inDriver received from its Brisbane launch, and the interest the company has seen in Melbourne since even before they launched, Chauhan is optimistic about inDriver’s future in an already saturated Australian market. 

“Australia is used to a single model,” he tells SmartCompany, “and the thought of having a new concept, a new idea within the ride-sharing space has piqued a lot of interest”. 

And while Australia is a veritable springboard for other developed markets, Chauhan notes it is also different from the markets inDriver currently operates in. 

“Australia is a whole new cookie … we’ve had to work with various communities and with our marketing team to get that message across.” 

The first difference, Chauhan says, is that Australia doesn’t work with cash payments. “There are new features within the app. Card payments is something new that we’ve implemented, specifically with Australia, as no one uses cash. That’s the normal form of payment here.”  

“For us to break into the market was quite a big task in itself,” Chauhan adds. “It’s a hard nut to crack and I have to say, we have cracked it.” 

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Aber dr
Aber dr
9 days ago

This is a race to the bottom

No income
No income
8 days ago

What kind of low life drivers will they have if doing the ride for HALF the price means losing money ( rising fuel prices too)

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