Gett is diving headfirst into the on-demand economy. The company, which began life as a ride-hailing service, is expanding its menu of offerings beyond taxis and black cars. Come July, Gett will begin offering a broad menu of on-demand services in all of its markets — everything from food delivery to healthcare.
It's a big, potentially risky shift for the Israeli start-up, which entered New York in 2013 after finding success abroad. But CEO Shahar Waiser says it's a well-considered one. "This is a natural transition," Waiser told BuzzFeed News. "We still see transportation as our core business."
With that in mind, Gett is limiting its new on-demand services to a very basic menu to start — food and groceries, health care, beauty, and home maintenance services. "We're not trying to be everything," Waiser said. "We know we can't be good at everything. So we chose essential products and services. "
The core value proposition of Gett's new offerings is the same as that of its ride-hailing service: giving consumers the service they want, when they want it — with a minimum of interaction and fuss. "We want it to be a one-click experience," Waiser said.
That's an ambitious goal. To achieve it, Gett is taking a tactical approach to its new on-demand services, limiting them to keep them manageable. Rather than offer a broad range of food for delivery, the company is partnering with a few restaurants to offer a selection of easy-to-make-and-deliver options such as pizza or sushi. And it only allows Gett users to select their choice of meal, not their choice of restaurant. It's not yet clear how the company will handle health care beyond partnering with clinicians willing to make house calls at a moment's notice. That's a potentially more difficult prospect than partnering with drivers, home maintenance workers, or even hairstylists and nail technicians who already may be independent contractors that are used to traveling from house to house.
Gett, which recently announced guaranteed flat rates for rides throughout Manhattan and no surge pricing, is applying the same infrastructure it has in place for booking rides to these new on-demand services. That includes the pricing system, future booking, access to 24/7 customer service, and service provider screenings and background checks. The company has not yet disclosed which on-demand service it will debut first or a roll-out timeline for the others that will follow.
Though Uber rolled out its food delivery service in New York City and Chicago today, Gett's foray into on-demand services is the largest yet for a ride-hailing company and one that will put it in competition with a host of other companies all vying for a piece of the on-demand market. But Waiser said they don't worry him much.
"All of these companies that become Uber for 'X' — most of them are just 12 or so months old. And many have less than 100,000 users maximum in the several cities that they operate," he said. "[They] exist because the bigger players like Uber and Gett are not yet offering those services."
Waiser said Gett has long eyed the broader on-demand market, waiting for the right moment to enter it. Now that it's profitable in 22 out of the 24 markets in which it operates and on track to hit $500 million in revenue this December, that moment has arrived.
"This has been something that we've always had a dream of doing," Waiser said. "But it was impractical to think about it until we really gained those capabilities and established all the infrastructure. You don't move to new categories until you achieve critical mass on your main service."
This article was updated to include the announcement that Uber launched its own food delivery service in New York City and Chicago.
Johana Bhuiyan is a tech reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Bhuiyan reports on the sharing economy with a focus on ridesharing companies.
Contact Johana Bhuiyan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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