With the acquisition of Uber, Grab now controls 93 per cent of the ride-hailing market in the Philippines, according to the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC).
Despite this new-found domination, Grab has been struggling to cope with the demand – its fleet of 35,000 vehicles simply could not accommodate to the 600,000 requests it receives in a day.
Due to the poor infrastructure and limited public transport options in the Philippines, ride-hailing services have proven to be very popular among the locals.
Tapping on these gaps, a slew of ride-hailing service providers have emerged in a bid to ‘grab’ the market share.
Four New Services To Start This Month
Undeterred by Grab’s giant presence in the Philippines, five new players have jostled their way into the scene.
Hype Transport Systems Inc. and Ipara Technologies and Solutions Inc are just two of the five new entrants approved by the regulator since Grab agreed to take over Uber’s operations in the Southeast Asia.
Both startups plan to start services this month.
“This is the perfect time to enter the market. Commuters are realising how difficult it is to have Grab as their only option,” Paolo Libertad, chief operating officer of Ipara, told Bloomberg.
He added that Ipara will be adopting a similar strategy as Grab – it will suspend drivers who cancel trips, and will mask passengers’ destinations to prevent drivers from being selective.
Meanwhile, Hype promises that its fares will be at least 20 per cent lower than Grab.
It will charge users only for the distance traveled, without factoring in travel time. This is a huge plus, considering the capital’s congested road conditions.
Go Lag Inc. and Micab Systems Corp are two other approved new entrants planning to start operations before end-May.
On the other hand, Hirna Mobility Solutions Inc. has yet to reveal a target launch date.
New Players Vying For 7% Market Share
“The accreditation of new TNCs is a welcome development to allow passengers to have more choices. We note, however, that the incoming TNCs are left with only 7% share in the market,” said the PCC in a Rappler report.
The entry of these new players may also force the regulator to again raise the cap on ride-hailing services in Manila, which was just increased by 42 per cent in February to 65,000.
Hirna founder Coco Mauricio is reportedly lobbying the transport regulator to cap fares and limit the promotions and incentives that only Grab can afford to offer.
Meanwhile, Indonesia’s Go-Jek – the biggest remaining rival in the – has also set its eyes on the Philippines, according to the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
Featured Image Credit: VR World