As we face the potential of a future London without Uber, let’s look at another place where Uber is also banned: Iran.
Due to the US sanctions on Iran, Uber has not been able to penetrate the Iranian market.
Though, let me introduce you to Snap, the ‘Iranian Uber.’ Currently the main player in Iran, Snap now has over 120,000 active drivers in Iran, and is growing from strength to strength as the demand for quick, personalized transport rises.
Just like Uber, it is available on iPhone and Android, and even has an Apple Watch version.
The sanctions have produced an entrepreneurial hub, where the educated, tech savvy youth strive to create start-ups to rival their international equivalents.
This has created a ‘reverse brain-drain’ where Iran’s youth, educated in Europe and the US, are returning to Iran to launch companies, equipped with ideas and training from the West.
And thus, Snap emerged in 2014; a ride hailing app tailored
for the Iranian market. It offers a range of services, including Snap Rose,
which provides female drivers for women, kids and families. And, unlike Uber,
Snap gives you the option to pay in cash or debit card.
True to Iran’s entrepreneurial spirit, Snap shares its market share with other companies such as Tap30 and Carpino. Though Snap currently dominates the market with a claimed 80% share.
So, Londoners must realise, that although life might temporarily be harder when we are no longer able to call Ubers to take us to our every destination, we must look to countries that never had Uber.
They are doing well, and their equivalent companies are thriving. Gaps in the market produce innovation and progression.
So, in a London where there is no Uber, perhaps a British version of Iran’s Snap will come to fill the gap in the market.