India ride-hailing firm Jugnoo to shut down Singapore app: Report

Jugnoo founders (Left to Right) Isha Singla, Samar Singla and Chinmay Agarwal. Photo: Jugnoo

Jugnoo, an Indian ride-hailing firm that entered Singapore in May in a bid to challenge Grab’s market dominance, is exiting the city-state, according to a report by The Straits Times.

Jugnoo, which focuses on auto-rickshaw hailing in India, is shutting down its Singapore app by the end of August but will not totally pack up because it will continue to operate in the city but in the background.

According to the report, Jugnoo will team up with Kardi, a Singapore-based ride-hailing startup started in June this year. The company will provide tech expertise and engineering support to Kardi “so it can compete with bigger players without worrying about technology”.

Jugnoo chief executive Samar Singla was quoted in The Straits Times report as saying that his company faced a challenge recruiting drivers locally while operating out of India.

The Singapore market is complicated by the high cost of car ownership on the island, where the government tightly controls the number of vehicles on the road.

The Indian ride-hailing firm entered Singapore by offering a private car-based service with an app that allows riders to choose from drivers’ competing bids on fares.

In an interaction with DEALSTREETASIA following his company’s launch in Singapore, Singla had said his company was looking forward to filling the gap left by Uber in the Singapore market.

“Jugnoo has enabled freelance drivers with the commercial driving license to bid for commuter requests. This is opposite to how Grab and Uber work. One can enroll on Jugnoo driver app and give the bids for customer trips. The first round of bid produces a range of competing for price bids, depending on driver availability,” Singla said.

He said they were figuring out alternative ways to compete in other parts of the world as well, which could potentially include markets outside of Southeast Asia, in the future.

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