In an effort to stave off competition from deep-pocketed players such as Grab and GOJEK, newly launched small ride-sharing companies in Southeast Asia are increasingly seeking opportunities to set their foot in smaller frontiers. The latest in the fray is TADA.
Founded by Singapore-based MVL Foundation, TADA launched its blockchain-based ride-hailing app in Phnom Penh on Wednesday.
TADA claims it is one of the first e-hailing companies in the world to utilise blockchain technology to offer zero commission taken from drivers.
After its launch in Singapore last July and in Vietnam earlier this year, the company said it has attracted more than 30,000 drivers and 230,000 users in the said region.
TADA has sealed a partnership with financial services providers including Alipay, Shinhan Bank and Pi Pay, a digital wallet based in Cambodia.
“This collaboration with TADA is another step forward for us as the growth of ride-hailing is encouraging more and more Cambodians to adopt cashless payments in the digital era,” said Tomas Pokorny, CEO of Pi Pay.
New features following the launch in Phnom Penh included the TADA app meter and integrations with Pi Pay and Alipay, TADA said.
“We are pleased to have such great partners and driver partners who support TADA. Our purpose has always been to improve the lives of drivers, create a better experience for riders and deliver a trusted ride-hailing application through innovation for all our users,” said Kay Woo, founder and CEO, MVL.
Vietnamese e-hailing company FastGo has also expanded in Myanmar, a market where ride-sharing is still fragmented as people primarily use traditional taxis. The company said it will look at other markets with the same conditions.
However, the biggies such as Grab and GOJEK, equipped with war chests of money, are not haunted by competition or regulations.
In Myanmar, Grab has said it will launch new services such as GrabShuttle for buses, GrabCall for taxi booking via call centres, Rent and Grab Web Booking for hotels and offices to book Grab rides.
In Vietnam, Grab’s country head Jerry Lim told DEALSTREETASIA that despite the mounting challenges in the legal environment, the company will continue to invest in the country for a future of shared mobility system.
TADA’s Woo said his firm was not aiming to compete with drivers or taxi companies. “Instead, we want to provide more tools for drivers to choose from,” he said.
However, the development in its neighbouring country Vietnam, as well as several other markets, has signified that taxi associations will react to the rise of e-hailing apps.