Ride Hailing after COVID-19

emre tok
4 min readApr 13, 2020

As you know, I concluded my amazing tenure at Careem in January after it got acquired by Uber and since then I am independently consulted companies in Middle East and consulting companies in Europe at the moment that are working on Fintech, SaaS, MaaS and Mobility around Growth Marketing, Mobile Experience, Customer Engagement and Digital Transformation.

It is interesting times, I am still working from my home in Dubai as many do and have a lot more time focusing on Mobility, Ride Hailing and Growth topics to continue learning and iterating :)

I was fortunate enough to listen the recording of the great meeting that the Ride share Guy Harry Campbell had with a great set set of Ride Hailing Company leaders. Info is → here

Who were the speakers :

  • Markus Villig: CEO of Bolt
  • Ming Maa: President of Grab
  • Will Coleman: CEO of Alto (USA)
  • Daniel Ramot: Co-founder & CEO of Via (on-demand transit)
  • Harry Campbell: Founder & CEO of The Rideshare Guy

Here are the topics discussed and summary highlights. Wanted to share the almost one hour of recordings summary…

Traffic of Demand

  • Almost more than %80 decline in traffic. Apart from the above companies, I am seeing and hearing these in European micro mobility companies as well as in Middle East as well

Budgets and Recession

  • Uber & Lyft have strong cash on pocket. Some large European ones as well as ones in SEA. the rest might struggle with costs
  • Many of them planning for recession of 12–24 months. Most are shifting to deliveries or other kind of options to keep going
  • Via has 200M Equity and they say they have patient long term investors. they believe RH will be crucial after the recovery

How are they trying to cope with the situation

  • Grab launched courier food, courier deliveries as well as niche versions. Grab thinks this could be longer than 12 months. Cost efficiency key and they will decrease costs on all fronts
  • Alto launched own marketplace with local farmers and started delivering directly from them. Alto has SUV type larger cars by the way. Alto has 10K users on subscription plans. Delivery increased almost 100% week over week
  • Bolt has seen drastic drop in Slovakia where the country is in locked down however saw uplift in Ukraine and Sweden for demand as the public transportation is closed but Ride Hailing is open
  • Via had dropped in especially New York and they shifted from transit to private car hire model. started gross delivery for elderly people, heavy discounts

Value Proposition

  • All companies focus on value proposition of safety, cleanliness and consistency of the experience.
  • Some people willing to pay high price but get the deliveries on time and safe.
  • Individual rides are more safer

Micro Mobility and Scooter Companies

  • These companies will have tough time during Covid 19 crisis. Many consolidations will happen.
  • My take away here is that after the crisis Scooter rides wont decrease drastically. I believe personal scooter, bicycle and car ownership might increase and new models will arrive. (Long term rentals) (see below chart)
Before and After Corona, Chinese Customers perception on Transportation — Survey Results

Health and Security Measures Ride Hailing Companies Taking

  • Opening the Windows default
  • Cashless payment or pre- payment priority. Such as packages or subscription
  • Driver and Customer protection plastic separators and shields (see above image :))
  • Didi installed real time cameras to check as if driver is cleaning the car or not
  • Hand sanitisers inside the car from Bolt and many others

Other Topics

  • Ride Hailing companies need to experiment many ways to differentiate
  • B2B Deliveries, being a platform for merchants is going to be crucial. Fresh deliveries will be important for markets like SEA
  • Car Lease will come back strong in some markets to close the under supply as most cars will be filled with deliveries
  • Some cities in Europe was already having supply crunch, these cities will not take strong hit
  • Unit Economics will be lower for deliveries and also Ride Hailing, Drivers will operate for while for bare minimum earnings, Companies should support them during these times
  • In car advertising is talked as alternative revenue stream

I will try to write more during these time especially about the changes happening in the industry of Car, Ride Hailing , Sharing and Micro Mobility…

Stay tuned




emre tok

Product. Growth. Marketing. Mobile. Former VP Growth Careem. xMicrosoft. Angel Investor. Classic Cars and Bicycles