Uber may still be allowed to operate in London until its appeal against TfL's effective-ban gets through the court system, but that doesn't mean there isn't a void that needs filling. A void that other transportation companies are quite happy to fill, and the latest is the Mercedes-backed ridesharing service ViaVan.
ViaVan isn't brand new, having previously launched in Berlin and Amsterdam, and parent company Via is available in a number of US cities. But it's clearly dead-set on beating Uber at its own game, claiming to offer low cost transportation for people in the capital, with the purpose of letting drivers make a decent living. In fact the company claims it deliberately takes a small cut of each fare, smaller than that of any other London ride-hailing service.
From the looks of things ViaVan is available in Zone 1 and 2 of the capital, offering a "ride-pooling" service that sticks you in a van with a bunch of random strangers to keep costs down. The idea, like CityMapper's SmartRide, is filling in the gap between basic private car hire and mass-transit systems like the bus or Underground. With that in mind you won't be able to summon a van to your exact location, and you'll have to use designated pick-up and drop-off spots to get about.
At launch the company will be offering trips in and out of Zone 1 from £3, which is a pretty good deal considering the general cost of London transport. That probably won't last, however, so it's a good idea to take advantage of it while you can.