End in sight for standoff between ridesharing firms, municipalities in Iran

Financial Tribune | Khosro Kalbasi: Uber and Lyft are household names across the world, in the absence of which in Iran, two startups, Snapp and Tap30, set up online ridesharing platforms that have become vastly popular.

From their inception, these firms have faced harsh resistance from old-school transport firms and urban authorities, which has literally drawn blood in Iran with angry cabbies mobbing the offices of online mobility service providers.

As the firms’ fortunes improved, the angry clashes subsided in Iran but were replaced with a new challenge: national and urban authorities eying a cut of these companies’ profits.

Following long-drawn talks between these startups, Iran’s ministries of ICT, industries and interior plus urban administrations, spearheaded by Tehran Municipality, introduced a guideline in late September. While taxing the startups, the guideline has left them some room to wiggle.