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Can Uber’s Global Business Be Beaten One City At A Time? Here’s Daimler’s Bet | Forbes

Athens-founded Beat wants to dominate the ride-hail market in every major Latin American city within three years. That might be doable if it maintains its current growth and so-far successful strategy of launching suddenly, without advanced fanfare, in one major foreign city at a time.

It’s a kind of spasmodic hostile takeover before others can get too big in a particular market, but it doesn’t pursue shareholders. Beat lures drivers (who create the fleet that is the core asset) from competitors and goes hard. It pops up unannounced where Uber has already primed locals to patronize ride-hail but has not yet established a market stronghold, CEO Nick Drandakis said in a phone interview. Then Beat moves in and scales aggressively. “Moving fast and ruthlessly is an essential part of our recipe,” he said.

Fares are kept on par with competitors at every stage; the variable pricing that is also called “surge pricing” comes in once Beat is “a household name.” That means surge pricing is coming soon to Bogotá, where there is more demand after six months than in Beat’s home city of Athens after seven years.

Beat points out that Lima is the only major city in the Americas where Uber is not the top ride-hail app, and it claims credit for knocking the company off its perch there. It attributes that to its presence, as Lima is home to Beat’s regional operations center.

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Can Uber’s Global Business Be Beaten One City At A Time? Here’s Daimler’s Bet.