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How to launch a ride-hailing business with 10x user growth in 3 months

How to launch a ride-hailing business with 10x user growth in 3 months

Explore how to launch a ride-hailing business in Indonesia with a couple of dozen drivers and achieve 10x user growth just in 3 months.

About the company

Maxride launched in early December 2023 in the city of Makassar - the capital of the Indonesian province of South Sulawesi. The company started with a couple of dozen drivers but had more than 600 active drivers in less than 6 months and achieved 10x user growth in 3 months. 

Market positioning strategy

There are two main approaches to launch strategy for a ride-hailing business. 

Approach 1: Directly competing with market leaders

This requires resources such as a large marketing budget and a clear differentiation strategy. This may involve capitalizing on competitors' weaknesses, adopting a counter-positioning strategy to stand out, or making your services significantly cheaper at the start.

Approach 2: Selecting a niche without market leaders

This requires identifying and targeting a specific market niche with lower competition and unmet customer needs.

Maxride opted for the second direction. Launching in Indonesian Makassar, they identified a niche between motorcycles and cars and developed a service that combines the best aspects of both: the maneuverability and affordability of motorcycles with the comfort and safety of cars.

Maxride’s core service revolves around next-generation 3-wheeler Bajaj vehicles, which they distribute as an official distributor. By controlling the entire ecosystem, from vehicle distribution to service provision, Maxride not only fills a market gap but also creates employment opportunities for vehicle owners. 

3-wheeler Bajaj vehicles also naturally stand out. They have several benefits that will be later used in service promotion:

To create a Marketing strategy follow key steps:

  • Learn the competition landscape
  • Shape a clear vision of your service and where, to whom, and how you will provide it
  • Shape your core value proposition with a clear focus on the benefits to your customers
  • Promote your service across trustworthy and relevant to your audience touchpoints

Ludmila, Partner Marketing Project Manager

To learn more about strategic market entry and niche targeting read our blog article.

Joint marketing approach: increasing app installs by 869% in 3 months 

Maxride launched with a well-structured team complete with a dedicated marketing department. The marketing department decided to focus its efforts on high-level Marketing Strategy, Social Media Marketing (SMM), and offline marketing.

For digital promotion, Maxride opted for the expertise of Onde professionals. Onde’s digital marketers and App Store Optimization (ASO) specialists were responsible for both organic and paid customer acquisition strategies.

To maximize results in your go-to-market strategy, combine ASO with paid promotion. These approaches work best together: ASO helps achieve high positions in stores but works slowly on its own. At the same time, paid promotion attracts attention and accelerates the achievement of ASO goals via an increased number of clicks. 

At the onset, the primary objective is to cultivate a golden cohort of initial customers while ensuring a steady influx of work for drivers.

To do that, you need to first select an audience. Choose Android or iOS users. Create a campaign using one audience, and if successful, launch it on another. 

While attracting a said golden cohort of customers, it's important to consider the number of drivers you currently have and how quickly you can attract enough drivers to serve these customers. As a rule of thumb, launch campaigns for both customers and drivers simultaneously, allocating around 30% of your budget for drivers and 70% for customers.

Here are the tools Onde’s marketing team used to achieve the results:

App Store Optimization (ASO) made by Onde’s team

App Store Optimization serves as a crucial component of the promotion mix, driving organic (free) users to the app and bolstering its visibility within app store categories. The higher an app ranks, the greater its discoverability on app stores, making ASO an indispensable tool.

Here’s what Onde’s ASO team did to optimize the apps for Maxride:

  1. Analyze market and competitors’ keywords
  2. Make data-driven keyword choices

Keyword choices are a key element of a successful ASO strategy that can significantly impact the success of your app in stores.

Artiom, Onde’s ASO expert 

  1. Localize (for Indonesian and UK and US English) and prepare metadata
  2. Test different versions of screenshots
  3. Make ASO iterations as this is an ongoing process



Consult Onde experts how to attain installs from App Store & Google Play for your taxi business!

Book a call

Pay-per-click (PPC) made by Onde team

In addition to ASO, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is crucial to driving users to the app. Adding paid users not only contributes to the app's ranking on app stores but also influences search engine algorithms. Onde professionals advertised on:

Read more about the tools in our blog article.


We have compared the month before the start of the active promotion with the results at the end of the third month of the promotion:

Daily active app usersX10
Daily new app usersX5
Daily ordersX10
Daily passengersX11
Monthly customer paymentsX13





Around 25% of new app users came from paid ads. We have also achieved an X3 lower cost per app install than initially forecasted as a result of a well-balanced ad channel mix, budget split, daily monitoring, and optimization.

Our approach sets us apart from typical digital marketing agencies. We operate on a revenue-sharing model, meaning both our partners and ourselves benefit when success is achieved. That’s why we are interested in better results at lower prices than anyone else. It makes my work more meaningful.

Maryia, Onde Traffic manager 

Facebook Ads not only drive users to your app but also generate significant social media engagement, as demonstrated by Maxride.

Facebook ad post reactions9K
Facebook ad posts shares630
Facebook ad posts comments526

Digital promotion is not enough: 3 keys to a successful launch

Digital promotion undoubtedly played a very important role in Maxride's growth trajectory. However, the success of Maxride’s successful launch was a result of a combination of factors. Here’s what Maxride’s team did with the help of Onde’s professionals. 

Converting app users into paying customers requires a proactive approach, especially in competitive markets such as ride-hailing. Maxride focused on turning first-time app users into customers by motivating them to book their first ride. This was achieved through various tactics, such as sharing promo codes via push notifications and timely reminders when rides were relevant to potential customers.

Ensuring a balance between driver availability and customer demand is crucial for the profitability of any ride-hailing app. Maxride diligently monitored the ratio of drivers to passengers daily and took proactive measures to engage drivers and improve order acceptance rates. This ensured a steady stream of completed and paid orders, minimized waiting times, and improved customer satisfaction.

Read more about driver engagement in our blog article.

To understand driver effectiveness and customer demand patterns, Maxride used data analytics. Together with Onde’s analysts, they identified underserved districts and adjusted their geo-coverage to meet customer needs in these districts. Additionally, they looked at analytics from app stores. This helped Maxride anticipate potential demand surges and later respond effectively by sending timely push notifications to drivers.

Using My hub analytics also empowered Maxride to track key performance metrics such as order volume, acceptance times, and the ratio of accepted to missed orders. This comprehensive data-driven approach optimized their operations and fueled Maxride's growth.

Let’s discuss your business requirements! Get a free consult on what fits your business best.

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