Ryde enter Singapore private hire market as Uber departs

It’s less than a week since Grab purchased all of Uber’s South East Asian operations and another major rival has emerged in an ultra-competitive space. Singapore-based tech giants, Ryde, have confirmed they are to move into the private hire market, describing it as a “natural extension” of their original carpooling business.

Eager to capitalise on Uber’s departure from the Asian market, Ryde confirm that their new venture, RydeX, have already started accepting sign-ups via the app, aiming to have more than 5,000 full-time drivers signed up in the near future.

Terence Zou, founder and CEO of Ryde Technologies, explains why entering this new market is a natural progression for the brand.

“Offering private-hire car services would complete our mobility suite to serve our users better. We’ve always been planning to enter into the private-hire space to complete our mobility suite, but right now I think is also an opportune time.”

Whilst a highly-competitive space, Zou believes that there is still room for a fresh, innovative company to thrive.

“I think the market needs more competition and that’s where we can provide consumers and drivers with an alternative platform and way to get around” he adds.

Experts sceptical of Ryde’s chances

Dr Park Byung Joon from the Singapore University of Social Sciences is sceptical of RydeX’s chances of breaking into a saturated market. Now, with the backing of Uber, Grab seemingly monopolise.

Pre-empting the struggles Ryde may face, he says:

“They will have great difficulty in terms of the driver availability, because Grab has far more vehicles under them. So, if they are simply seen as another app, then of course Singaporeans will not use them that well, so it really depends on what kind of service they can provide for commuters.”

As RydeX attempt to gain a competitive edge over their bigger, more established rivals, Grab, driver’s commission rates are set to be cut to 10%, with savings passed onto customers.

Mr Zou added:

“We hope to provide commuters a cheaper alternative to get around and drivers a way to make a decent living. Ultimately, our mission is to make a positive social impact in people’s lives.”

“Having run our carpooling business for close to three years, we also understand what the riders and the drivers want, what features they would like, what are the things that work for them, so we have been collating feedback all this while.”

“Definitely putting the consumer first, listening to what they want, giving them a good fare option, that would be our core focus.”

Concluding an incredibly busy week for the Asian rental market, what does the future hold for this ever-growing space? Leave your thoughts with us.