Get Ride, a homegrown ride-hailing platform majority owned by the founder of Myanmar’s BOD Tech Ventures, officially launched its operations in Mandalay, the country’s second-most populous city, last week.
The bike, tuk-tuk and taxi-hailing platform is part of Get, an omnichannel digital commerce platform established in 2017 by early-stage tech investor Mike Than Tun Win and fintech veteran Nyein Chan Soe Win.
Get has already secured capital commitments of nearly eight-digit US dollars, said BOD Tech Ventures founder and CEO Mike Than Tun Win in an interaction with DEALSTREETASIA at its Asia PE-VC Summit 2018.
Get seeks to emulate Go-Jek, the Indonesian unicorn that started as a motorcycle-hailing platform and has since diversified into fintech and a host of horizontal services. The Myanmar startup plans to bring together service providers that have been backed by BOD Tech Ventures on a single platform. These include online travel agency FlyMya, Get Digital Store, food delivery company Yangon Door2Door, mobile learning app DedaaBox and others.
The startup has announced that starting 2019, it will charge a fee lower than its competitors based on a rate agreed upon by its community of drivers and customers. It also plans to provide lifetime commission-free services to motorbike drivers.
“Being a local company with a team of leadership experienced in entrepreneurship, technology and fintech, Get Ride fundamentally understands Myanmar and truly cares about building a ride-hailing platform that puts safety, reliability, convenience, and long-term sustainability for the whole at its heart,” said Get CEO Nyein Chan Soe Win.
The official launch of Get Ride comes about six months after a beta launch that started in January this year. It is now beta testing in two other major cities, Yangon and Monywa, with plans to expand to one new city every month. Its goal is to cover all second-tier cities of Myanmar by the end of 2019.
Get Ride faces competition from Singapore-headquartered Grab, which launched its services in Mandalay last month, and Mini Oway, another three-wheel bike platform launched in late 2017.
Grab, which recently announced raising $2 billion out of an over $3-billion ongoing funding round, has so far outperformed local app-based ride-hailing platforms such as Hello Cabs and Oway.
“There is a tremendous growth opportunity in countries like Myanmar and Cambodia. We have a dedicated team there and these markets are very, very important for us,” Grab president Ming Maa told this portal.
Oway Group, which is developing a new consumer travel application, has been backed by a slew of investors including the International Finance Corporation and Daiwa PI Partners. It last raised $14.7 million in a funding round earlier this year. Its investors include the Northstar Group, an early backer of Go-Jek.
Meanwhile, some industry experts say the technology adoption rate is still low in Mandalay and the local government needs to revisit existing rules to help the industry grow.
“As companies first try to create services to solve the market need, at some point, there can be cases not in line with the legal rules. For such matter, the respective regional governments should not consider as a threat or problem but need to be flexible in helping companies adjust their compliance efforts,” said Thar Htet, a startup coach at Phandeeyar.