Tada! Firm launches new ride-hailing app

Mass Vehicle Ledger Foundation founder Kay Woo said the firm's Tada app, which was launched yesterday, currently has more than 2,000 drivers signed up on its platform, and it aims to have "around 3,000 or 4,000 drivers by next month".
Mass Vehicle Ledger Foundation founder Kay Woo said the firm's Tada app, which was launched yesterday, currently has more than 2,000 drivers signed up on its platform, and it aims to have "around 3,000 or 4,000 drivers by next month".ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Another firm has entered Singapore's ride-hailing market, joining a slew of others which made similar moves following Uber's exit earlier this year.

Mass Vehicle Ledger (MVL) Foundation launched its ride-hailing application Tada at a media event yesterday at its Ubi office.

MVL founder Kay Woo said Tada, which means "let's ride" in Korean, currently has more than 2,000 drivers signed up on its platform.

"We're aiming to have around 3,000 or 4,000 drivers by next month," said Mr Woo, who is from South Korea.

With its entry, Singapore now has Tada, Filo Technologies, Ryde, Kardi and India's Jugnoo going up against the incumbent Grab. The market is set to get even more crowded with Indonesian ride-hailing giant Go-Jek's impending entry.

MVL hopes to entice drivers with a no-commission model, Mr Woo said. This differentiates Tada from competitors such as Grab, which charges drivers a fee of 20 per cent per fare.

However, Tada collects 3.4 per cent of each fare paid by electronic means, which Mr Woo said is used for the maintenance of its payment platform.

"We don't collect any money for cash payments," he said.

Private-hire car driver Lee Seng Leong, 54, said the promise of zero commission fees attracted him to sign up with Tada. "I will drive with whichever company is able to give me more money," he said.

Instead of employing dynamic pricing - where prices increase or decrease based on demand - Tada will impose surcharges during peak periods, such as during the morning and evening peak periods, similar to taxis.

Mr Woo said this will help ensure fares - which start at $2.30 - are cheaper than those of Grab during these times, though he admitted prices could be slightly higher during periods of low demand.

 
 
 
 

He added that MVL is currently in partnership talks with four or five car rental firms and a taxi operator here to add taxis to the Tada platform. But he declined to name the companies involved.

Tada has applied for the Land Transport Authority's third-party taxi booking service provider certificate. MVL currently has funding of about US$16 million (S$22 million), which the firm's general manager Jonathan Chua said will help sustain Tada's service despite its zero-commission model.

It hopes to incentivise rides by rewarding drivers who drive safely. Drivers who receive good reviews of their rides will also get points which can be converted into MVL coins, a form of cryptocurrency that will eventually be exchanged for perks such as petrol or car maintenance for drivers.

MVL uses blockchain - the technology behind cryptocurrencies - to keep an accurate log of rides.

This data can in future be sold to researchers or other transport operators, providing another source of revenue for MVL, said Mr Woo, who added that this would be done only with the consent of both riders and drivers.

MVL hopes to expand to Vietnam by the end of this year, as well as South Korea by next year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2018, with the headline 'Tada! Firm launches new ride-hailing app'. Print Edition | Subscribe