Gett chief executive Shahar Waiser.
Courtesy of Dan Taylor — Heisnberg Media

The Israeli company wants to beat the multibillion-dollar startup for business accounts. It's starting in New York.

By Kia Kokalitcheva
May 14, 2015

With every dollar that Uber raises—the on-demand car service has amassed nearly $6 billion—it is increasingly surprising to see any company try to take it on.

And yet Gett is doing just that. On Thursday, the Israeli company, which touts its fixed-price black car service as cheaper than Uber’s, will roll out a program in New York City that is designed specifically for businesses and their employees.

The idea? Go after the lucrative travel-and-expense market created by corporate coffers.

Gett launched in 2010 and quickly conquered several European cities before spreading to the United States. Today, both Uber and Gett offer on-demand black car services that passengers can hail and pay for through smartphone apps. But the services differ in key areas. Gett only focuses on black-car service; Uber has introduced various other services, including UberX, a cheaper alternative that competes with taxis, rather than limousines. Uber also controversially employs “surge pricing,” a dynamic model that increases prices with demand; Gett does not do this, and hopes that the move will help it win customers from its larger rival.

The competition for corporate accounts is a more recent battleground. Uber and another rival, Lyft, have already released their own programs designed to help companies and employees better use and manage their car services for work-related trips. In Uber’s case, companies using its program can manage when and where employees can use their allotted rides. Uber automatically bills companies for those rides. Uber has also partnered with popular T&E software providers Concur and Expensify to make it easier for employees to submit rides in expense reports.

Uber’s tremendous popularity among consumers has given it an enormous foothold in the business market. As of March of this year, Uber accounted for 47% of all work-related car rides, according to recent research from online expense management company Certify. In New York City, Uber accounts for 21%—a major improvement from 9% in early 2014.

(Why so low? New York and its army of city taxi cabs is a bit of an outlier compared to most other cities.)

Gett’s corporate program is similar. Employees use its mobile application to hail rides, and Gett provides monthly reports to their employers about those trips. The company says it already serves more than 2,500 companies worldwide, including half of the Fortune 500, though it declined to name any.

Does Gett stand a chance against Uber in becoming the car service of choice for corporations? It’s too early to tell. Though its biggest battle may be in convincing companies that a fixed-price black car is more cost-effective than an Uber of any kind.

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