SnapCar distances itself from Uber as it moves towards Business Class

Feb 12, 2013
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SnapCar screengrabSnapCar, a smartphone-enabled private chauffeur service, announced that it will be offering SnapCar for Business, a service dedicated exclusively to enterprises. Just like SnapCar for individuals, the service will allow employees at companies to stay mobile on the go by providing them with an easy way to order drivers wherever they are. The new app, which came out yesterday, allows individuals to put some rides on their ‘business account’ and some on their ‘personal account,’ making it easy to manage the two.

SnapCar cofounder Yves Weisselberger told me that he sees this new positioning as a new route for the ‘private chauffer 2.0’ world. While major companies in France are still using G7 (the biggest taxi ring in Paris) to order cabs for employees, guests, etc., SnapCar is a way to add a touch of class and provide an alternative to the very expensive mafia that is the Taxi in Paris. Paris is one of the few cities where taxi drivers charge for the time it takes to go to a clients location, meaning that if, when you call a cab, the nearest one is across town, you will pay for the 30 minute wait as the driver crosses Paris rush-hour traffic.

In a recent interview with Taxibeat CMO Alexandra Sigala, she told me that Taxi drivers in Paris have only about a 30% downtime, meaning that 70% of their time is spent with an actively charged client. This is way lower than any other city, which usually sees 50-70% downtime, which is due to the tight control that the Taxi Commission has over the number of taxis (and, therefore, the demand for taxis) in Paris.

As the private chauffeur smartphone era begins to mature, there is certainly going to be some companies that fleurish, and others that don’t. While SnapCar still services the general consumer population as well as business clients, I can easiy see this becoming a Facebook = Uber and LinkedIn = SnapCar situation – there may not be room for 10 players in this industry, but there’s definitely room for 2.

SnapCap also announced a new version of its iOS App, which has made it easy to do multiple reservations at once, as well as opened the communication a bit between the chauffeur and client, by providing more details that can be transmitted. By making it easier for travelers arriving at an airport to coordinate pickup, SnapCar is putting itself out there as the private chauffeur you always wanted, all at your fingertips.