US-based Uber Technologies Inc, which provides a mobile-based on-demand car hire service across 66 cities globally, including Bangalore, New Delhi and Hyderabad, has further expanded its presence in India with a soft launch in Chennai.
"Over the next few weeks, Uber will be in 'secret testing mode' in Chennai; availability will be limited but we will be working hard to make more cars available whenever you want them and wherever you need them," , the company announced in a blog post.
Uber operates leading brands including Mercedes E-Class, Toyota Altis and BMW 5 Series in Chennai.
The service starts with a minimum fare of Rs 100. Post-booking, the consumer needs to pay Rs 2 per minute or Rs 15 per kilometre.
The customer needs to pay Rs 100 in case of a cancellation.
Launched in 2009, Uber is a San Francisco-based technology company that enables users to request a ride any time using its iOS and Android apps, as well as from its mobile site m.uber.com. It is one of the heavily-invested online car hire services in the world, with Google Ventures along with a few other investors infusing more than $360 million in August last year. The company started its India expansion in October last year, with Bangalore, followed by New Delhi and Hyderabad.
India is already home to a slew of operators which have been doing quite well and have been attracting VC interest. Leading domestic players include Olacabs, TaxiForSure, Carzonrent, Savaari Car Rentals, taxiGUIDE, Cabs24X7, Meru Cabs and Zoom.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)