Local carpooling app Ryde to expand to Hong Kong

Local carpooling app Ryde has announced plans to expand to Hong Kong.
Local carpooling app Ryde has announced plans to expand to Hong Kong.PHOTO: SCREENGRABS FROM RYDE APP

SINGAPORE - Local carpooling app Ryde, which started in September 2014, has announced plans to expand to Hong Kong.

Founder and chief executive Terence Zou said on Friday that he targets to launch the service - which matches private-car drivers to commuters on a similar route - in the second quarter of this year.

Mr Zou said Hong Kong is a suitable market because it is a dense urban city where transportation costs and landscape are somewhat similar to Singapore.

In Singapore, the app now has amassed 20,000 members in Singapore, and is on track to add another over 30,000 more by the middle of the year.

During a press event on Friday, Mr Zou said that Ryde successfully matched "thousands" of people on its network in December and the number is expected to grow further this month.

The start-up has raised some $2 million in funding to date.

Under the Ryde platform, passengers pay drivers to help defray the cost of the journey.

While the start-up does not take a cut from this fee, drivers and passengers pay an annual fee of $30 and $15 respectively for unlimited matches. There is also a $5 deal for five matches.

Besides Ryde, there are several other carpool apps and websites here, such as Tripda, SwiftBack, ShareTransport.sg and Carpool. In November, taxi app GrabTaxi also announced its carpooling option called GrabHitch.