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Why ‘Namma Yatri’ will eat OLA/Uber for breakfast? 🛺
Autowalas challenging the giants.
OLA & Uber invested $5 Billion in India. Both make over ₹1,300 Cr in revenues. But, Namma Yatri - small app in Bengluru is catching up. Today’s story covers why the new app will eat OLA/Uber for breakfast ⬇️
Important context 🗓
Launched almost 10 years ago, both Ola & Uber have struggled to make a profit in the Indian market. They have tried 100s of experiments from installing tablets to surge pricing to increasing commissions.
The driver commissions are biting back 😬
With draconian commissions of upto 20% on ride fares & ever increasing diesel prices, the drivers union had enough. Auto Rickshaw Driver Union (ARDU) has created their Open Source app called “Namma Yatri”.
What is Namma Yatri? 🛺
An app by the drivers for the people to book auto rides. No middle man & make 100% direct payment to auto drivers. It recently completed 5 million trips in Bengaluru alone.
Interestingly, a private player is involved 🤔
Juspay, a fintech player that offers seamless payment infrastructure, owns the Namma Yatri app built for Auto Drivers. Juspay worked on this for over 3 years. They first built the “Yatri” app in Kerala before building the “Namma Yatri” for Bengaluru auto drivers.
What’s Namma Yatri doing differently? ⬇️
It hasn’t raised any money so it doesn’t have to chase unrealistic valuations or revenue targets. This means they have the luxury of time to build this right.
First/ reduce technology infra cost 🔻
Incredible amount of money is required to handle maps inside these apps, payment infrastructure & cloud storage. Juspay is trying to open-source maps contributions to completely replace Google Maps.
Second/ deepening the product features ✨
The product roadmap is solid. You will be blown by the amount of thought gone into it - from driver onboarding, ratings, batching of rides, payment infra & even route optimisations for drivers. Blew my mind, honestly.
Third/ subscription based pricing for drivers 💰
Juspay’s core business isn’t ride hailing. It’s payments infrastructure. It wants to make money by charging a monthly fee from drivers to access the Namma yatri platform & make a % payment gateway charges on driver payments.
Fourth/ almost no marketing spends 🪙
Namma Yatri spends exactly $0 on marketing, it’s discounting some rides at the moment to get as many users to give it a try over OLA/Uber. But, the most impactful strategy is focused on using auto drivers to market their app. Go take a Namma Yatri ride & you will understand.
Fifth/ launching driver referrals 📣
Namma Yatri auto drivers can refer customer & other drivers to the app & earn cash rewards. Classic affiliate strategy at play & it’s doing wonders with 44,000 drivers onboarding in 6 months.
Sixth/ safety features for drivers & passengers ❤️
With trust score ratings on both sides of the app, it’s learnt from the Uber/Ola playbook. Pure execution on this is already in works.
How will Namma Yatri make real money?
The subscription Juspay going to charge will make very little money. The real money lies inside lending money to auto walas. That’s the game - it’s almost always lending. No wonder Juspay is so much invested into this product. Exciting times, India ecosystem is never boring.
No wonder Namma Yatri will win 🕹
Pricing as a core input has been misunderstood even by the giants. Plus, too much gamification on the driver side has led to long term fatigue and Namma Yatri is a great example.
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