#Asia GoCatch launches GoCar to dethrone Uber in Australia

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Already embattled by competitors in other markets, the ridesharing giant faces yet another serious contender – this time, it’s down under

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Last year marked a year of tribulation for the ride-sharing giant Uber. In addition to being beseeched by angry taxi drivers worldwide, it faced strikes by its own drivers, both of which are showing no signs of simmering and reaching resolution.

Let’s also not forget that leading Asia-based ridesharing startups Lyft, Ola, Didi Chuxing, and Grab have formed an Avengers-style alliance to stave off Uber’s monopoly in the market. It would be no surprise if its Co-founders Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp start ageing faster than a US president.

Now, to add increase to their burden, Australia-based taxi-booking startup GoCatch has risen to meet Uber on the streets of Sydney — with the launch of its on-demand ride-sharing service GoCar.

Ned Moorfield, CEO of GoCatch, lays out its plans for GoCatch and GoCar, in an email correspondence with e27.

Here are the edited excerpts.

Can you tell me more about GoCatch and GoCar?

GoCatch is a leading Australian transport booking app. Launched in 2011, we currently process over 100,000 bookings a month nationwide. In response, however, to growing consumer demand for more cost-effective travel options as well as local legislative changes, we are today announcing the launch of GoCar, the country’s first locally-owned ride-sharing service.

How do you plan to compete against the biggest rideshare app in the world – Uber?

Ride-sharing has become very popular around the world and across Australia. But something that isn’t popular is the surge fare pricing model used by Uber. One of the key benefits of GoCar is that is has fixed, time-of-day pricing, so passengers always know what to expect. They will no longer be subject to pricing that changes constantly due to demand and they won’t be stung by unfair surge prices.

GoCar’s drivers will be charged a 15 per cent commission versus Uber’s per cent and earn at least 10 per cent more on each job compared with Uber.

Also Read: OTR: A 22-year-old Singaporean GrabCar driver and her weekend hustle

We’ve also seen some important validation overseas that the market is big enough for two players including Grab, which has done a brilliant job taking on Uber in Southeast Asia and challenging them in key markets. There is also Ola in India, Didi Chuxing in China, and Lyft in the US. All evidence that it is possible for a strong local player to directly take on Uber in these markets.

Is GoCatch only going to focus on Australia? What about regionally?

Right now, our focus is to strengthen our position as the leading on demand transport app in Australia. We recognise that many of our regional peers have a strong presence in their own home markets and so our focus is to work in cooperation with them rather than expanding into these markets and entering into competition with them.

Ned Moorfield, CEO, GoCatch

Ned Moorfield, CEO, GoCatch

What other offerings would GoCatch introduce to boost its position?

For now, our focus is on expanding the ride-sharing offering nationally and building our presence in all Australian capital cities and regional centres. There are some exciting models being tested globally in our space such as food and parcel delivery and we see these as natural extensions of the technology platform that we’ve built, however, we’re determined to maintain absolute focus on our core product offering in the immediate term.

What are the challenges of establishing GoCatch in Australia?

Australians are already quite comfortable with the concept of ride-sharing, and with recent legislative changes, drivers and passengers can benefit from this technology safely and legally.

The challenge now is to continue expanding our network, ensuring that drivers know that GoCatch will not put restrictions in place for those who want to utilise more than one ride-sharing platform to earn additional income and encouraging Sydney-siders to give it a try to see what they can save when they don’t have to pay extra depending on demand.

Also Read: [Update] Sleepless in Seattle: GrabTaxi opens engineering office in US

What are your plans for the next 12 months?

Over the next 12 months, we will be focused on building a strong network within the Sydney market and expanding to other Australian capital cities.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

The post GoCatch launches GoCar to dethrone Uber in Australia appeared first on e27.

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