Russian ride-hailing app Maxim is entering the Iranian market. Iran is considered a promising market for ride-hailing apps due to a large number of passengers and rides, with over 18 million rides per day only in Tehran.
Tehran is a megacity with over 13.2 million population. With 18 million trips per day in Tehran, considering the 60 percent market share of public transportation system, we would have 7.2 million trips left for Taxi organization and ride-hailing apps (whether with cars or motorcycles). This is why in the past year, we witnessed the emergence of many small and big tech companies in this market. These players have reformed the position of Taxi Organization of Tehran with better services and way more better customer satisfaction. You can read more about these statistics in this article: Tehran the Heaven of Ride-Hailing Apps With More Than 18 Million Trips per Day“.
How many ride-hailing apps are in the Iran?
Currently, there are more than 20 players in the ride-hailing market in Iran according to ECM. And most importantly not all of them are based in Tehran but other provinces of Iran as well. Here is a list of ride-hailing apps in Iran:
- AAC (Taxiirn)
The main three players in this market are Snapp, Tap30, and Carpino. According to our research, currently the estimation of rides per day for Snapp is 350k, Tap30 is 150K and Carpino is 10K. The number of drivers for Snapp is 150K and for Tap30 is 80K. Carpino which is exclusively working with the Taxi Organization in Tehran would probably have more than 10K rides that it has since they are working with Taxis in Tehran. Plus, in the last three years, Snapp had 100 million successful rides. However, Snapp is in serious trouble right now, since one of its drivers is charged with sexual assault. This might put an end to Snapp’s operation similar to what happened to Uber in India. Snapp situation will most likely be resolved since they are working closely with the officials to prevent these kinds of incidents to happen again.[Update1]
Ride-hailing apps market is considered complicated in Iran since the country lacks the required regulations and there is Taxi Organization of each province on the way to stop this movement. However, these governmental organizations don’t provide satisfactory services to their customers. That’s the main reason for their downfall. And more importantly, people and Rouhani’s government are supporting ride-hailing apps. This business is so lucrative that a news was circulating around on some local media outlets and Telegram channels that Bank Melli Iran has supposedly invested 80 billion Tomans (20 million dollars) on Tap30 for 25 percent of its shares.
Maxim Entering the Iranian market
Pavel Stennikov, Maxim’s representative said that the Russian ride-hailing service Maxim is set to enter the Iranian market and the company has already received permits from Tehran authorities according to Russian news service RBC. “The ride-hailing service will be launched in Tehran in autumn and the company will start operations in other Iranian cities soon after,” said Stennikov. If you check Maxim’s website or app, you can see Tehran as one of the cities they are operating in and they have also added the Persian language.
Iran’s ICT Minister is against Maxim’s move into Iran
Maxim’s move into the Iranian market has received mixed responses inside the country. The most important one is the ICT minister of Iran, Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi who said: “I heard the news about the Russian ride-hailing app entering Iranian market, however, we have good players inside the country and this move is against the resistive economy of Iran. We need foreign investment in ICT sector not new players”.
Alexander Kostikov, Uber’s head of communications in Russia believes that Maxim’s entry into Iran is aimed at promoting the company’s image according to Financial Tribune. Kostikov says that so far none of the major ride-hailing services have managed to establish a successful business by entering markets in developing countries.
On the other hand, the CEO of inDriver, another Russian ride-hailing app, Arsen Tomsky said: “Iran is a huge, accessible market with 80 million potential customers.” However, he adds that investment risk is excessively high in the country.
According to Financial Tribune, Co-founder and managing director of Russian investment firm Inventure Partners, Anton Inshutin has also said: “Due to the US sanctions applications of Iran’s major ride-hailing services Snapp and Tap30 have been removed from Apple’s App Store. Maxim is available on the iOS application market. This can provide the company a competitive advantage.”
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[Update1]: This update was added after a day of publishing this article.