In last month’s blog post, our shared mobility by region series focused on the Middle East. This month we are diving into South and Latin American shared mobility offerings. Latin America is made up of 36 countries with a population of approximately 517 million people. Of this total, 30% of the total population live in cities with over 1 million inhabitants. The number of cities in Latin America has increased six times within the last 50 years, but the public transport systems have not followed this growth, which is why services such as ridehailing, carsharing and bikesharing have increased in popularity. As the demand for more sustainable alternatives of transport meet the advancements in technology, it pushes Latin America’s culture of traditional urban mobility to the brink of massive change. Read on to learn more about shared mobility in Latin America.
LATIN AMERICA Shared Mobility
RIDEHAILING MARKET IN LATIN AMERICAUnlike many countries in Europe and throughout the rest of the world, Latin America has traditionally been tied to the idea of car ownership. For most individuals it is important to have a car in your possession as it is seen as a prestigious asset. However, the tides are changing with the younger generation opting for using on-demand transportation options instead, such as ridehailing. The revenue generated from ride-hailing in Latin America in 2018 amounts to $518 million (USD) and is expected to grow to $1,017 million (USD) by 2023, which is why the region has become a new commercial hotspot for ridehailing companies, with companies such as Uber, 99, Easy Taxi, Cabify, Beat and Nekso battling it out for the regions number one provider. The readiness of Latin Americans to try innovative transport solutions and the lack of efficient and accessible public transport systems has presented itself as the perfect opportunity for future business and entrepreneurship within the region. Beyond the rising demand for alternative transportation options, Latin America is the world’s second-fastest-growing mobile market. There are 200 million smartphone users in a region of approximately 640 million. It is predicted that by 2020, 63% of Latin America’s population will have access to the internet, via mobile technology. The main ridehailing service providers within the Latin American shared mobility market are:
- UBER: Uber entered the Latin American carshare market in 2013 and currently, according to their records, has more that 36 million active users. The company began by quickly dominating Mexico (the second largest market after the U.S) becoming the number one ridehailing provider in the country until very recently. Uber also has operations in more than 16 Latin American countries.
- 99 (formerly 99Taxis): Brazil is the number one spot for ridehailing companies in Latin America with an urban population of around 180 million. Most notably, 99 (formerly “99Taxis”) was able to gain momentum early on with exclusive services that extended beyond basic ridehailing and with over 200,000 drivers and 14 million users, 99 attracted the attention of investors worldwide, including that of China’s Didi Chuxing. Didi invested $100 million into 99 in January 2018 before acquiring 99 entirely months later for nearly $1 billion.
- Easy Taxi: Easy Taxi, started in Latin America in 2011, two years after Uber first started in San Francisco. The company provides an easy way to book a taxi and track it in real-time. Today, the company is owned by Maxi Mobility, which acquired the company from Rocket Internet in 2017 for an undisclosed amount. Maxi Mobility also owns Cabify, and operates across many Latin American markets, including Argentina, Mexico, Bolivia, Panama, Brazil, Peru, and Chile, in addition to a handful of markets elsewhere.
- Cabify: Cabify is a Spanish company that provides private vehicles for hire via its smartphone app. Although founded in Madrid, Cabify has always positioned itself as a Latin American company, investing heavily across the region. The company was able to gain a strong foothold due to some significant funding raised by its parent company, Maxi Mobility. In January 2018, Maxi Mobility raised another $160 million and said the funding would be used to accelerate both of its companies, Cabify and Easy Taxi, in the 130 cities where they operate throughout Spain, Portugal, and Latin America. Cabify reported it has over 13 million users and grew its installed-base by 500% between 2016 and 2017, tripling its user base and fulfilling six times more trips in 2017.