Business news from Ukraine


Taxi calling services Bolt and Uklon continue to work.
The Uber service has stopped working in Ukraine, the company said in its app.
“Uber rides are not available in this region at this time,” a message to passengers in Kyiv reads.
In Lviv, the application shows that there are no trips available.
In Kharkiv and Odesa, a message is also displayed stating that trips in the region are not available.
“Due to the growth of geopolitical tensions and recent events, we have decided to suspend the operation of the application. The safety of all application users is our top priority. We continue to monitor the circumstances and hope that this is a temporary situation,” the company said.
Uber has been operating in Ukraine since 2016 and is present in nine cities.

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The Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU) is investigating the formation of prices in the transportation market due to a sharp price rise for the services of the main players in the taxi market on the first day of lockdown, Head of the Northern Territorial Branch of the AMCU Oleksiy Khmelnytsky said on his Facebook page on Wednesday.
He said that on the first day of lockdown, the prices for taxi services of the three largest organizers of transportation via mobile applications simultaneously increased by 3-4 times, which is unacceptable.
“Already in the evening of April 6, taxi prices fell noticeably. It should be noted that the demand did not decrease [there were no less trips, the demand was constant] and lockdown was not canceled. This is the reaction of these companies to the indignation of Kyiv residents, the media and the AMCU’s reaction. I am convinced that companies can adjust prices on their own, not only automatically, given the critical situation with COVID-19 in Kyiv. Could there be any signs of violation of competition laws [on coordination of actions]? In my opinion, yes,” Khmelnytsky said.
He also said that the AMCU should definitely respond to a large number of appeals from Kyiv residents.
“We cannot ignore citizens’ appeals; that is why we launched our probe. This is the law […] In fact; the situation on the transport market [whatever you call it, for people it is taxi services] has not been studied by anyone. That is why we started the study. We will draw conclusions based on its findings,” he said.
At the same time, Khmelnytsky noted that the AMCU perfectly understands all the specifics of the work of programs and applications, which are rather difficult to control.
According to him, if, based on the findings of the study, the AMCU does not receive evidence of anticompetitive concerted actions of the largest market players, the committee will definitely inform about it.
“If we get evidence of a violation of competition legislation, we will open a case, make a decision and fine the violators. If it turns out that the legislation and rules do not correspond to modern technologies, we will turn to legislators with a proposal,” the head of the AMCU Northern Territorial Branch said.
As reported, on April 5, taking into account the imposition of strict quarantine, prices for taxi services, in particular in Kyiv, increased several times.
Bolt taxi ordering service (formerly Taxify) has decided to forcefully adjust the coefficient that affects the increase in cost during the period of increased demand.
Taxi ordering services Uklon and Uber told Interfax-Ukraine that their pricing systems depend on many factors, automatically taking into account the situation on the roads, weather conditions, demand and others.

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Carrying out the reform of the taxi market in Ukraine in a five-year perspective can create 100,000 jobs, according to the Uber taxi service.
“I believe that the adoption of a civilized reform will lead, firstly, to an increase in passenger safety, and secondly, to an inflow of foreign investments into Ukraine, and as a result to the creation of jobs. We estimate that the taxi reform may create 100,000 jobs in Ukraine over a five-year perspective,” Uber’s Development Director in Central and Eastern Europe Georgii Sokolianskyi said during an online discussion on the taxi market on Thursday.
According to him, the main obstacle to the development of the taxi market in Ukraine is the lack of sufficiently high-quality cars for those who are ready to work in this sector, since cars and loans in Ukraine are very expensive, especially in comparison with the EU countries.
Sokolianskyi also said that platforms such as Uber often reach agreements with car manufacturers on special terms of purchase, with leasing companies on cheaper loans, potentially secured by companies. At the same time, there is a model on the market for working with private drivers, when the platform gives money for the first payment for a car, and in return the driver agrees to brand the car for a certain period.
“At the same time, neither we, nor private investors in vehicle fleets can invest in an illegal market, where investments may be lost tomorrow if the head of the State Service of Ukraine for Transport Safety (Ukrtransbezpeka) or the head of the National Police changes,” Sokolianskyi said.
He said that due to problems with regulation in the taxi sector, Ukraine often loses competition for investment to other countries.
“For an investor, the rule of law, fair courts and transparent regulation are always important. And, perhaps, today we cannot change the quality of Ukrainian legal proceedings, but we can change the transparency of taxi regulation,” Uber’s Development Director in Central and Eastern Europe said.

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The Kyivstar mobile communication operator launches the service to pay for the 838 taxi service using SMS messages, the press service of the company reported on Thursday. According to the press release, the service is available to all Kyivstar prepaid subscribers in 15 cities of Ukraine where the 838 taxi service operates.
The payment is settled using the Kyivstar’s Smart-Money financial service. To do this, when ordering, one need to specify the Smart-Money payment method from Kyivstar or download the Taxi 838 application in the App Store or Google Play and select the appropriate form of payment. At the same time, one does not need to enter information about a credit card. It is enough for the subscriber to have the necessary amount on his mobile account. “The service is simple, safe and does not require a passenger to enter personal data,” the press service said, quoting Head of Kyivstar’s Mobile Financial Services Serhiy Koptik.
According to the operator’s estimates, more than 150,000 subscribers can potentially use the application. This is exactly the number of Kyivstar customers who have called the 838 taxi service over the past few months, although less than 17% of passengers used credit card payments. “This suggests that Ukrainians are still afraid of leaving information about their credit cards in applications,” Koptik said.
The operator said that more than 2,500 active services were posted on the Smart-Money platform, and more than 10 million transactions with it were implemented. The most popular services are payment for telecommunication services, national lotteries, online purchases, and public transport fares.

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The Bolt taxi ride service (earlier Taxify) is launching the electric scooter ride service in Ukraine and by spring 2020 the service will be available in the text mode in the UNIT.City innovation park, Bolt Country Manager Taras Potichny said during the presentation of the new service in Kyiv on Thursday.
“We are the first in Ukraine to launch a service that is popular in many cities around the world. I am glad that we are changing the market, changing the look of the city, making it even more modern. Electric scooters really solve many problems. It often happens that moving around the city center by car is quite difficult, but driving a few kilometers on an electric scooter is easy, fast and brings pleasure,” Potichny said.
The cost of using electric scooters in Kyiv will be published after the full official launch of the project.
“The price has not yet been formed. In Eastern Europe, it amounts to 60-70% of the average check for the cost of a taxi. In Kyiv, it is UAH 100-110. Accordingly, the average trip on a scooter will cost UAH 60-70. The price will be formed from the opposite: EUR 1 usually costs the scooter unlocking itself, and one minute – UAH 1-2. This is the framework in which we will determine the price,” the country manager said.
At the same time, he added that for the test period the price will be significantly reduced, then it will be regulated depending on the demand of the service.
The Bolt fleet has Segway NineBolt ES4 electric scooters with a maximum speed of 25 km per hour and a range of 45 km.
To start using the service, you need to find a scooter, unlock it using the QR code in the application, get to your destination and leave it in any convenient and safe place. The service can only be used by persons 18 years or above: when registering an account, the user will have to indicate the date of birth.
“The rent price for an electric scooter will include the unlock price and the price per minute of use. For cases where it is planned to travel a lot and payment per minute is unprofitable for the client, Bolt will set the price for renting a scooter for the whole day. No matter how long you drive around the city, your card will not be charged more than the set price,” the company said.
Places where you can rent a scooter will be located in the city center, usually near transport hubs and the most visited points. You can see where the nearest scooter locations are in the same application as for ordering a car.
It is planned that in the evenings, Bolt employees will collect scooters around the city and put them on charge so that the next morning they can be found in familiar locations.
“We are proud that the first electric scooter rental point in Ukraine appeared in UNIT.City. This is fully consistent with our idea to build an eco-friendly city in a city,” UNIT.City CEO Dominique Piotet said.
According to Potichny, after a successful launch in Kyiv, the company plans to launch the service in other cities of Ukraine.
“We would love to expand further. There are many more tourist sites with fairly closed centers: the same Odesa or Lviv, where you cannot get around the center by car. First we test this on the streets of Kyiv and will gradually expand and develop in others cities,” he said.
Earlier Bolt launched a courier delivery service by a driver in Ukraine.
As reported, Тaxify was launched in Kyiv in 2016 under the franchise agreement. In June 2018, the company relaunched the project in Kyiv with own local team, promising to enter other large cities of Ukraine.
Early March 2019, Тaxify changed its name to Bolt.

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The Bolt taxi service (formerly Taxify) plans to launch a Bolt Food delivery service in Ukraine in 2020.
“The demand for food delivery in Ukraine is quite high. We see great potential and are working on launching a food delivery service in Ukraine in 2020,” a company’s press service quotes its regional manager in Ukraine Taras Potichny as saying.
According to him, the first Bolt Food service will start working in Tallinn. By the end of 2019, the service also may launch in Latvia, Lithuania, South Africa, and on other European and African markets in 2020.
As reported, Bolt plans to launch a scooter rental service in Ukraine and is mulling Kyiv, Lviv and Odesa as possible launch points.
In early March Taxify was renamed Bolt.

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