Daimler, owner of Mercedes-Benz, has acquired rival companies RideScout and MyTaxi to reach a new market of consumers who favor ride-sharing apps over owning a car.
With the moves, Daimler is entering the ride sharing arena, a space primarily inhabited by start-ups. Ride sharing has become popular with young urbanites that eschew owning or leasing their own cars to save money on costs like parking and insurance. Instead, apps like RideScout let them hitch a ride with other drivers.
RideScout has a large presence in North America, with services available in 69 cities. The app uses geolocation to pair travelers with different modes of transportation to different places. The MyTaxi app gives users the ability to order a taxi and is mostly focused in Germany for the time being.
Another ride sharing start-up, Uber Technologies in San Francisco, has faced a recent ban in Germany, Daimler’s base. Uber faces problems from the government because they say that the company doesn’t have required licenses and insurances that allow it to operate as a taxi service.
As the number of ride-sharing apps grows, Uber is also turning into a marketing platform for brands. Marketers including Casper, Frito-Lay and Target have all run campaigns with Uber in recent months.