Uber launched its app at the SF AppShow in 2010. It was the first-of-its-kind mobile application for the most widely used on-demand service on the planet—taxis. However, it was a revolution not only in the taxi industry but in a whole array of on-demand services that were previously struggling to reach their target audiences and connect clients and service providers. Thus started the Uber for X fever that is still going on today.
Uber for X is a universal name for an on-demand service that uses Uber’s business model. Various services adopted this model to establish themselves in their industries, including food delivery, dog walking, tutoring, or, similar to its founder, taxis. Here and there you hear about startups that call themselves something like Uber for lawn mowing or Uber for cargo delivery, and so on. The formula turned out to be so flexible and easy to customize that it suits almost any business you can think of. The business model itself is quite simple. Any Uber-like app is basically a two-sided market where clients who want a service can find people who can offer that service. The platform itself acts as a facilitator, providing a comfortable and easy-to-use platform on which the two sides can conduct business.
The steps may vary slightly from service to service, but generally, here is how it works:
So, how do Uber for X businesses earn money if they do not participate in the service firsthand? You will be surprised to see that the revenue model for Uber for X is quite solid and has stood the test of time.
With an Uber-like model, the parts you need to piece together are already known and tested. You don’t have to go through trial and error multiple times until you find the right ratio or the right components. Once you have an app for customers, an app for providers, and an admin console to rule them all, you are good to go.
Once you get your business up and running and start gaining an audience (make sure to research your market), you get X% from every order conducted through your platform. Word spreads fast and ads bring in new people, so you get better prices on your platform and an abundance of jobs. Later, other companies might approach you and offer mutually beneficial partnerships. You never know!
While it is great to dream big and aim for worldwide success, you need to remember that your local market might be the sweet spot where you can flourish. Maybe you live in a city near a lake or river, and boat rides are the on-demand service that people want. Or perhaps your town is really famous for its amber and you want to bring together tourists and those who mine or collect amber pieces or make jewelry. It’s always important to analyze your local market (you most likely will start there anyway) and see what people need or would possibly like, taking into consideration what’s already popular or, on the contrary, something entirely new.
There is no denying that Uber for X is a trend that, despite some people speculating otherwise, is not going anywhere in the foreseeable future. It is a solid and profitable business model if you can hit your target audience—and that takes a lot of time and research. On the other hand, the Uber for X ecosystem itself does not take as much time to build. It only took us nine months to build a fairly complex five-part Uber for Trash that has become a very successful startup in its niche and is now marketing in the United States. Startup on-demand services and the Uber for X concept were made for each other. They are transforming the world in every possible industry and will continue to do so for years to come.