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The use of ride-hailing apps has skyrocketed in Brazil in the past two years, spurred in part by the country’s economic woes.
According to Mobile Time and Opinion Box’s latest research, 58% of smartphone owners in Brazil had used a car service app to order a taxi, luxury taxi or private car as of September 2017, up from 37% in the same period of 2016 and 18% in 2015.
The undisputed marketplace leader is Uber: It was the ride-hailing app of choice among 86% of respondents in the September 2017 survey. That’s an increase of 20 percentage points year over year.
An August 2017 survey by Dalia Research showed similar results, with 74.0% of ride-hailing app users in Brazil saying they’d used Uber in the previous month.
Uber’s growth has a lot to do with economics, Fernando Paiva, editor and director of content at Mobile Time, told eMarketer. Brazil is just beginning to emerge from a punishing recession, and consumers are looking for ways to save money.
“Any initiative to make transportation cheaper will be an immediate hit. The low prices for a shared ride on platforms such as Uber make it an attractive option in relation to using public transportation, depending on the route,” he said.
There is one possible obstacle to continued growth for ride-hailing apps in Brazil: Regulators are beginning to pay attention to the services.
Uber and other similar apps appear to have beaten back a proposal that would have required drivers to own their own vehicles, but other restrictions, such as a ban on rides outside the city where the car is registered, may become law.
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