Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET with comments from Uber.
Tel Aviv-based ridesharing company GetTaxi, which operates as Gett in the U.S., knows that to win in the transportation space, it has to be laser-focused on one primary competitor. Today, it announced an aggressive move to woo drivers away from Uber.
The company said it will give Uber drivers $500 to switch companies, and give new drivers a $500 bonus when they complete their first 20 jobs. Drivers will also earn $500 for every friend they pull into the Gett fold.
The car-hailing service says it will also pay double what Uber pays its drivers -- 70 cents a minute after tax and commission for sedan drivers -- and let them keep 100 percent of tips. Comparisons like this get tricky: Uber’s rates start at 40 cents a minute but the company also pays drivers a per-mile starting rate at $2.15.
Gett boasts that drivers working 40 hours a week would make six figures on average, and as much as $110,000 including tips. Uber has said that drivers in New York can make more than $90,000, but hasn’t said how many hours it would take to earn that salary.
Uber wasn’t phased by Gett’s announcement, brushing it off as as overhyped marketing, and standing firm behind its offer for drivers. “Uber IS the best economic opportunity for NYC drivers,” said spokesperson Natalia Montalvo.
Last month, the ridesharing leader promised that every one of its drivers in New York City would make $5,000 per month for the rest of the year if they meet certain commitments. Gett, meanwhile, assured that its drivers earn a minimum salary of $6,000 a month.
Gett is not as well known a name as Uber in the U.S., but the ride-hailing tech company is more established internationally. GetTaxi operates in 24 cities in the world, including major global hubs such as Moscow and London.
This is not the first time Gett has made an aggressive move to win over Uber customers. In early September, Gett rolled out a promotion to take passengers between any two points in New York City’s central borough of Manhattan for a flat $10. Depending on where you are going in Manhattan, that can be a tremendous savings compared to other car and driver alternatives.
And while Gett seems hellbent on taking on Uber, this is still a bit of David and Goliath story. San Francisco-based Uber has raised $1.5 billion in venture capital, drowning out the -- still admittedly impressive -- $207 million that Gett will have raised if it’s next $150 million round comes through as expected.
“Drivers are key to our business, they’re our partners and we want to improve their quality of life,” says Ron Srebro, CEO of Gett, in a written statement. “Happier drivers make for happier Gett customers and improve everyone’s experience.”
Srebro may in fact care about his company’s drivers, but it’s also a mighty pretty cover for what’s likely to be a brutal battle between his company and Uber in coming years.