Collaborative Economy: Opportunities and Competition

Although dealing with a demanding and challenging market with several competitors, companies dedicated to the transportation of people and delivery still visualize multiple opportunities in Costa Rica.

Friday, November 20, 2020

The need to access more efficient mobility, changes in consumption patterns and the upward trend in the introduction of smartphones and the Internet, have created a business scenario in which the demand for mobile platform services dedicated to the transportation of people and home delivery, increases over the years.

The market has grown and so has the number of competitors. A year ago, it was reported that the company DiDi, an application dedicated to the transport of people, began to offer its services in San Jose, Cartago, Alajuela, Heredia and Puntarenas.

After a year of operation, Pablo Mondragon, DiDi's general director for Central America and the Caribbean, explained to Elfinancierocr.com that the Costa Rican market "... already had players of many years who had accustomed users and driving partners to certain subjective standards, good or bad. So really getting to understand those specific levels of service expectations is what makes it challenging: that the only thing that gives you is time."

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Although Costa Rica is a small market, DiDi's executive assures that there are multiple business opportunities.

Mondragon said that "... the opportunities are in the entire spectrum of mobility: if we look at the mobility pyramid from completed trips on foot to micro-mobility (personal bikes), to trips by private car, ridesharing, cabs, trucks, subways and so on."

In Costa Rica DiDi only offers the "Express" service, however, Mondragon assures that the company already has the technology of Chinese origin, connecting users with the public transportation concession, through the generation of intelligent routes.

With the restrictions on mobility imposed by the government due to the outbreak of covid-19, the rise in the use of mobile applications for the delivery service was boosted, a situation that attracted more competitors.

In mid-November of this year it was reported that the Cornershop application is the new platform that will compete with Glovo, Hugo and Rappi in the Costa Rican market.

See "Restaurants and Delivery Apps: A Difficult Relationship"

Cornershop representatives explained that they will work hand in hand with Uber in the country. Oskar Hjertonsson, founder and CEO of Cornershop, told Elobservador.cr that "... I can't imagine a better way to start operations in a country as promising as Costa Rica by joining forces with the best on-demand platform. We are excited to work with Uber to bring our mission to millions of people around the world at the touch of a button."

Cornershop will be dedicated to receiving orders and delivering the required products from the supermarkets to the location where their customers are located. For now, the platform has integrated commercial establishments in Heredia, San Jose and Alajuela.

The article reviews that "... In Costa Rica, this app has numerous businesses, among them Perimercados, Saretto, Super Compro, Fischel, Fresh Market, Super Salon, Todo Mascotas, Deli Mart, Super Facil, Maxi Consumo, La Carniceria Gourmet, GNC, Sencha Tea Co and Natural Bites."

See article from Elfinancierocr.com "Director of DiDi: 'Costa Rica is a country with a lot of possibilities for intelligent mobility through platforms'" and Elobservador.cr "Cornershop comes to Costa Rica to compete with Glovo, Rappi and Hugo".

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In a few days the company DiDi will start operating in the country, an application dedicated to the transport of people and which is already recruiting driving partners.

This is the second market in Central America where the application will compete, since in November 2019 began offering its services in Costa Rica, specifically in San Jose, Cartago, Alajuela, Heredia and Puntarenas.

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After investing $2 million, the company Rappi, dedicated to the service of food delivery, orders and cash transport, began operations in the country.

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