Vietnamese ride-hailer beGroup has partnered with Vinataxi, the local business of Singapore transport firm ComfortDelGro Corporation, to launch its beTaxi service.
The new offering provides four-seater and seven-seater taxi booking for users, starting July 30.
beGroup said, in a statement, the new service will help facilitate the transportation needs in peak hours when customers usually face a low possibility of successfully booking rides.
Positioning itself as a transportation business, beGroup says it leverages technology to not only provide ride-booking but also aims to become an open platform to connect to partners.
Incorporated in 2003, Vinataxi now operates a fleet of close to 300 vehicles, according to ComfortDelGro’s website.
Vinataxi was said to be the third-largest taxi operator in the Ho Chi Minh City market, southern Vietnam.
“We want to partner with traditional taxi companies as well as transportation businesses in Vietnam to create synergy for mutual development. The collaboration will also build Vietnam’s transportation sector into an advanced digital transformation,” said beGroup CEO Nguyen Hoang Phuong.
Prior to this taxi partnership, beGroup has worked with Warburg Pincus-backed e-wallet MoMo to add the latter’s service as another payment option on the Be app.
Apart from beBike, beCar, now beTaxi, beGroup’s offerings include car rental, parcel and grocery delivery, a reward programme and beFinancial – financial package service for both users, drivers and small businesses.
The startup claims that its app has been downloaded by 6.5 million mobile devices, with 60,000 drivers and 350,000 rides every day. In total, it has finished 53 million beBike and beCar rides since its inception in December 2018. The services are available in 10 cities and provinces across the country.
beGroup is among the three biggest ride-hailing players in Vietnam, along with Grab and Gojek Vietnam. Singapore’s Grab, with the largest presence in Vietnam across various services including food delivery, hotel booking and digital payment, last year said it will invest $500 million in the country over a five-year period.
Meanwhile, Indonesian major Gojek has recently rebranded its Vietnam and Thailand units from GoViet and Get, to share the same Gojek name and app, in order to more efficiently serve multiple markets under one platform.
Gojek only operates bike ride-hailing, delivery and food services in Vietnam. The company has not been able to obtain a licence for e-payment yet.
Smaller ride-hailing players in Vietnam have either shut down or struggle to find scale.
In April this year, Vietnam finally came up with a legal framework for ride-hailers, which allows the companies to opt to register their business as a tech platform or a transportation business.
Only a transportation business is allowed to decide ride pricing and driver allocation, while a tech company is not. The decree, which aims to legalise ride-hailers, requires them to display a “contract car” sign on their windshield to differentiate them from private cars.
Grab then said it applied for a transportation business licence for its car-hailing services. But at the group level, the company remains a technology firm.