Ride-hailing war: Local app Filo Technologies to launch in Singapore within next 2 weeks

To attract drivers, Filo will collect a 12 per cent commission, which will be capped at $400 a month. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/FILO

SINGAPORE - Yet another ride-hailing app will enter the Singapore market soon, making it the third such company to move into the point-to-point transportation industry since the departure of Uber.

Local start-up Filo Technologies, which was founded late last year, said it intends to launch its private-hire car booking services within the next two weeks.

It is up against local firm Ryde and India's Jugnoo, which both debuted earlier in the week, and incumbent Grab, which acquired Uber's South-east Asia operations two months ago.

Founder Jason Tan, 41, who is from the shipping and logistics industry, told The Straits Times on Friday (May 4) that fares will be cheaper than those for taxis and comparable to other private-hire car services. Fares will also fluctuate based on demand and supply, he added.

To attract drivers, Filo will collect a 12 per cent commission - lower than Grab's 20 per cent - which will be capped at $400 a month, said Mr Tan. Drivers are free to use his platform, and will not be bound by any exclusivity agreements.

He is currently recruiting 300 licensed private-hire car drivers to drive for his app - through social media and word of mouth - and aims to have 2,000 drivers in time for the launch.

The company is based at Vision Exchange in Jurong East and has a start-up capital of $50,000. Mr Tan said this money comes from his own pocket and investors, and he has plans to raise more funds.

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His rivals currently have deeper pockets - Jugnoo has raised US$16 million (S$21.3 million), Ryde has US$1.5 million, and Grab, US$4.1 billion, according to tech website Crunchbase.

Competition in Singapore's ride-hailing sector looks set to get more intense, with firms such as Singapore's MVL (Mass Vehicle Ledger) Foundation, Malaysia's DacSee and Indonesia's Go-Jek looking to join the fray.

Still, Mr Tan is undeterred. "The passenger-driver (matching) platform is just the start. We will have other more attractive services on the app in the coming days," Mr Tan said, but declined to reveal more.

He is also promising attractive promotions for customers, but was tight-lipped about what they will be.

"Based on my research, as long as there are no more than five players, the market should be able to accommodate all of them. I expect my business to grow along the way," he added.

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