Another Ride-hailing Firm Wants to Enter the S’pore Market But in a Different Way


Ever since the Uber-Grab merger, other firms have expressed interest to enter the competitive, yet mature, market.

The first announcement was by Ryde, soon after the Uber-Grab merger was reported. The local carpooling firm claimed that they have been planning to enter the market, and the merger just gave them a chance to announce their plan.

Unlike Uber / Grab, Ryde, which calls the service RydeX (100 marks for creativity, yay!), promises just 10% commission from its drivers instead of the usual 20%. They have been aggressively recruiting drivers, and on certain days, their app even got into the top downloaded app in Google Play.

Then came Go-Jek, the stronger contender in the game due to its financial muscle. This industry is currently still in a bleeding stage, whereby companies lose massive amount of money every day just so to acquire users (this is very common: Facebook bled for five years before making its first dollar, and Twitter just announced a profit this year).

Go-Jek is backed by Temasek Holdings, Google and even Tencent, so you can imagine how much money they can afford to burn. The Indonesian ride-hailing firm is considered the most popular ride-hailing app in Indonesia, with well over 400,000 drivers / motorcyclist.

They’ve not mentioned when they’ll come in, but given that this industry is all about speed, it should be very soon.

And yesterday, reports indicate that yet another company is fighting for a slice of the cake, and it’s from India.

Jugnoo, a ride-hailing firm with about 10% of the ride-hailing market in India (just behind Uber and another local ride-hailing firm Ola), has expressed interest to enter the market but in a very different way.

Instead of the usual system, in which you’ll just “book and go”, it’s based on a bidding system.

You would have to choose between three prices: one is the usual suggested price, the other is 10% higher and the last would be 10% less. Either that, or you can enter their own price.

(Try bidding $10 from Tampines to Jurong)

You see, when that happens, the driver would have a choice of whether to pick you up or not: set it too low and all drivers might just ignore your booking. Set it too high and you might have to eat Maggi Mee that night, but at least you’ll get a ride fast.

According to the report, it’ll take an additional 10 seconds for the whole process.

But. But. But.

This could just be a test.

Jugnoo has tried the system in smaller batches over in India, and it’s only in Singapore that they’re going all out with this unique bidding system. If it works, they’re going to launch this to other cities as well.


The goal is a fleet of mere 500 drivers and clocking 2,000 riders a day. As for the commission, it will be at a competitive rate of 10% (similar to RydeX).

The CEO said, “We’re not hoping to come in and try to take market share…We are focusing on getting that niche market for people who really want … control. We want to be a niche player.”

Hmm. To me, ride-hailing should be fast, efficient (and with promo codes).

And here’s the most interesting thing: they’re coming in on 1 May 2018. That’s less than one week from now.

Guess it’s time to download the Jugnoo app, no?


Now you know what Singaporeans are talking about today; do check back tomorrow for another piece of news of the day!