Uber on global security drive with India-specific features

  • Himani Chandna Gurtoo, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 29, 2015 09:18 IST

Taxi-hailing app Uber has set on an image-building exercise in India, and is looking to replicate its India-focussed security solutions in other markets as well.

In India, the company had introduced an SOS button in the app and is providing driver details to the passenger’s closest family members, among a host of security features.

The cab-hailing app, which ran into trouble last year when a driver on its network allegedly raped a woman passenger. has redoubled its commitment to its second-biggest market outside the US.

“We have invested heavily in India, in monetary terms, and also in the development of our technological leadership team for India,” Allen Penn, Uber’s head of Asia Operations, told HT.

“We have been learning and figuring a lot of things here. It’s an interesting market and it has played an important role in designing our technology roadmap. We will take most of the features that have been tested and pioneered here to the markets of Uber globally,” he added.

India is a key geography for taxi-summoning app firms because of its estimated $9-billion market size.

“We have invested extensively in India where our business is growing over 30-40%, month-on-month,” Penn said. The company has reportedly raised $5.9 billion globally in five rounds of funding so far.

Uber launched its Indian operations in September 2013. Since then it has expanded its network to include more than 15,000 drivers (figures as of November) in eleven cities including Calcutta, Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi.

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