[Singapore] GrabTaxi – Disrupting The Singapore Cab Industry, One Cab At A Time
Singapore’s taxi industry has been the subject of many recently introduced services looking to disrupt that sector. We’ve seen the recent introduction of premium limousine provider Uber, which hails a luxurious if pricey ride with simply a few touches on their mobile, to various different mobile applications on Android and iOS all offering an easier in obtaining a cab in this city.
But the largest Southeast Asia-based taxi booking mobile application provider has set its sights on Singapore as its fourth market – Malaysia-based MyTeksi has announced the beta launch of its app GrabTaxi, after recent expansions to Philippines and Thailand.
GrabTaxi is a third-party taxi booking mobile application that can connect cab drivers directly with commuters through the driver’s personal mobile phone, thereby complementing (or bypassing, depending on your perspective) the cab company’s booking systems.
It’s amazing how elegant the GrabTaxi app is – it automatically detects the commuter’s current location using the smartphone’s in-built GPS (Global Positioning System) and shows the person number of available taxis nearby. When the commuter requests for a taxi, those nearby drivers can bid for the ride. Commuters can also include their destination when booking a taxi, thus increasing the likelihood of a successful booking. When a ride is accepted, the application actually shows where the assigned cab currently is and track its real-time location as it comes, as well as provide the driver’s details and contact information. A ‘Share My Ride’ tool on its application even allows the commuters’ loved ones to track the location of their ride in real-time.
The GrabTaxi ecosystem promises to be very robust as well – the company actually makes sure to contact drivers and commuters who cancel on jobs and will not hesitate to ban either if there is sufficient due cause, in order to build trust in the ecosystem.
The level of detail within the app came from GrabTaxi actually sitting down with a number of cab drivers when they first started in Malaysia to work out the kinks in the ordering process. “Since the mobile app was first publicly launched in 2012, there has been an amazing response from commuters around Southeast Asia,” says GrabTaxi Founder and Group CEO, Anthony Tan.
“The ease-of-use and safety aspects made it an instant favorite among commuters in Malaysia and the Philippines with one GrabTaxi cab being booked every five seconds in those markets. Now we are bringing the convenience and reliability of the GrabTaxi mobile app to Singapore commuters.”
Tan – whose grandfather was actually responsible for setting up one of Malaysia’s first cab companies – declined to reveal the number of cab drivers in Singapore who have signed up with GrabTaxi so far. He says driver signups and the size of the user base is correlated, and both need to grow in tandem. “To have more drivers, we need more jobs for them,” he explains.
“But the beta launch will help us develop our base of taxis in Singapore and ensure a smooth launch for the app when it goes live soon.”
GrabTaxi is available on iOS, Android and Windows Phone, and has seen some 400,000 downloads across all markets to date.
Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.