Grab, Southeast Asia-based ride-hailing company, and Trans-cab, Singapore’s second largest taxi operator, announced at the beginning of the month that they would be forming a partnership to bring all Trans-cab drivers onto the Grab platform.
The partnership is Grab’s first with a taxi operator and will see approximately 7,000 Trans-cab drivers using the Grab mobile app exclusively to serve on-demand passenger bookings.
Trans-cab drivers will have immediate access to Grab’s passenger base and technology that enables the efficient matching of passengers and drivers. Similarly, Grab’s passengers will find it even easier to get a ride now through Grab’s expanded network of drivers.
As part of the onboarding process, new Trans-cab Drivers will undergo trainings to help them familiarise with the Grab app, learn about Grab’s safety guidelines and expected code of conduct.
To further facilitate the onboarding process, Grab will provide subsidised smartphones to drivers as part of the company’s ongoing efforts to reduce operating costs for drivers.
Grab currently has the largest land transport network in Singapore and the widest range of transportation services including GrabTaxi, GrabCar and GrabHitch.
Last year, Grab Singapore reported US$10.2million in revenue but a whopping US$39.8 net loss. To break even, it’ll need to grow its revenue five fold this year, assuming operational and marketing costs stay the same. With this partnership, operational costs are likely to dampen their losses. Profitability is said to be less of an issue, as Grab has continued its aggressive growth throughout Southeast Asia with presence in 26 cities across 6 countries, including Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, The Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Its dominant presence in other Southeast Asian countries will propel its growth in the near future.
Furthermore, earlier last month, Grab announced its largest ever funding of over US$350 million, from Coatue Management, L.L.C., a US investment firm that invest in technology worldwide, China’s sovereign wealth fund, China Investment Corporation, and Didi Kuaidi, along with support from existing shareholders.
This brings GrabTaxi’s total funding to approximately US$700 million and makes it one of the best funded startups in the history of Southeast Asia.