Cabify risks losing fleet supremacy to Uber in Madrid

A Cabify taxi car is seen through a car window in Malaga, southern Spain, August 3, 2018. REUTERS / Jon Nazca

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MADRID, January 4 (Reuters) – The Cabify ridesharing app, one of Spain’s few “unicorn” tech startups, risks losing ground to foreign rivals such as Uber (UBER.N) or Bolt in its original base in Madrid due to a more exclusive dispute with a company that employs 1,100 of its drivers.

Entrepreneur Felix Ruiz, co-founder of private company Auro which owns the cars and licenses and employs the drivers, told Reuters that Auro has decided to move them to Uber or Bolt or both from January 20. .

The Spanish company could fall to second in its territory, as Cabify and Uber have roughly the same market share in Madrid, according to Auro’s estimates.

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Uber and Cabify declined to comment on their respective market shares.

On Monday, Cabify said that an arbitration tribunal ruling in June forced Auro’s fleet to continue working with the app, but Ruiz, while acknowledging that Cabify won the arbitration, said the contract with Cabify had been canceled and his company was ready to defend its decision in court.

Ruiz doubted the two could still come to an agreement.

“We are not aligned,” he said, adding that he considered Cabify’s rival Uber to be “more efficient because its algorithm allows for higher revenues”, while Bolt’s advantage was to charge less in order to gain market share.

Auro’s pool of 2,500 delivery people are already working with Uber Eats and other retailers.

Madrid, where Cabify started operating a decade ago, has around 8,000 vehicles registered for ridesharing services, and competition is fierce between applications that have branched out into scooters, bicycles, and grocery deliveries. .

Cabify, which plans to go public but has yet to announce a firm share issuance plan, achieved global revenue of $ 516 million in 2021 and more than 5.4 million registered users . Read more

It uses the services of 230,000 drivers in its European and Latin American markets. It has 441 direct employees in Spain, according to a recent company presentation.

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Reporting by Inti Landauro, additional reporting by Clara-Laeila Laudette; edited by Aislinn Laing, Andrei Khalip and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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