Ride-hailing app Karhoo plots S'pore comeback

Karhoo said it will be hiring worldwide, but there is no news of it re-entering the Singapore.
Karhoo said it will be hiring worldwide, but there is no news of it re-entering the Singapore. PHOTO: SCREENGRABS OF KARHOO APP

SINGAPORE - Karhoo, the ride-hailing app which folded under a mountain of debts in November, has been rescued and is eyeing re-entering the Singapore market.

RCI Bank and Services, a financial services provider for the Renault-Nissan group, has bought out the troubled company.

The Straits Times understands that the firm - which has an app which allows commuters to compare rides before choosing one - has contacted Singapore's ComfortDelGro Corp.

The transport giant had partnered Karhoo to launch its app last year before the app firm collapsed.

When contacted, a ComfortDelGro spokesman would only say: "We are always open to growth opportunities and will explore any possibilities that may arise."

A former Singapore employee of Karhoo said the firm also got in touch with him to explore a return.

In a statement released last week, Karhoo said RCI was among 40 bidders who made a pitch for the app provider in December.

Flit Technologies, a new venture funded by RCI, "won a competitive auction process that will see the company relaunch this year", Karhoo said without disclosing the bid amount.

Boris Pilichowski and Nicolas Andine, who took over as joint chief executive officers in the last few weeks of Karhoo before it went under, have assumed the same roles at the revived company. Karhoo said it will be hiring worldwide.

Meanwhile, it is not known where Karhoo founder Daniel Ishag is. Mr Ishag has been uncontactable since he sent an email to staff on Nov 8 announcing Karhoo's closure.