UBER recently announced that they’ll shut down UberEats in Barcelona and move over to the VTC-model (private transportation with a driver). Exactly when they will start driving with this new model is unclear, but in an interview with El Español the general manager of UBER in Spain, Carles Loret admitted that they had moved too fast in the spanish market.
The biggest player in the VTC-market in Spain is Cabify, which have 500.000 users in 14 different cities in Spain and Latin America.
They look forward to more competition in a market they have dominated for a long time.
“That other companies enters our market, using the same business model is a challenge we are ready to face”, says Juan Ignacio García-Braschi, country manager of Cabify Spain to Barcinno.
Barcelona is overworked
The VTC-model in Spain is highly regulated and there is only allowed 1 VTC-car per 30 licensed taxis. In Barcelona however the situation is even worse according to Cabify.
“Barcelona is different from other cities because of its shortage of VTC-licenses granted. Right now, there are only 400 VTC-cards in the region. Seen in proportion to Madrid, its much lower”, García-Braschi explains.
Did you read this? Barcelona Tech Factory: Our Own Version of the Cambridge Innovation Center
Its this market UBER wants a share of and has foreseen possibilities, compared to their other attempts of conquering Spain. Cabify hopes that more players in the market will lead to new regulations and hopefully a liberalization of the VTC-market.
“We hope that it is possible to work together with the regulators and other stakeholders to make this sector better in a way that creates more jobs for people and a better service”, says García-Braschi.
Hailo welcomes UBER
While UBER and Cabify are getting ready to compete for their customers, the taxis is also joining the race for more customers.
The taxi app Hailo let you book, pre-book and choose what kind of taxi-car you want from their application. Mar Pallàs, general manager of Hailo Barcelona does not see UBER as a direct competitor for the moment, because UBER now only will use the VTC-model.
“The taxi industry did not develop itself for many years, until now. The industry is not dying, our service is growing every month”, says Pallàs.
In Spain, the application has 5500 drivers and 220.000 users.
Whether or not UBER will succeed with their VTC-model in Spain and Barcelona is too early to tell, but their competitors are at least welcoming them with open arms.