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SMRT-backed S’pore startup mobilityX calls it quits after less than two years of operations

mobility x

The Straits Times reported today (June 29) that tech startup mobilityX has closed down after just two years of operation in Singapore.

In October 2018, mobilityX announced that it had raised an undisclosed Series A round led by Toyota Tsusho, the trading arm of the Toyota Group. They had also previously received a seed investment from SMRT.

The SMRT and Toyota Tsusho-backed startup launched transport app Zipster in September 2019, dubbing it as Asia’s first all-in-one transit application.

Zipster brings on board public buses and trains, ride-hailing companies like Grab and Gojek, bike-sharing service Anywheel, bus-pooling service ShareTransport, and BlueSG, which operates an electric car-sharing service.

Commuters can compare multiple traveling options and book private transport services like ride-hailing on the app. It also offers a route planning function, discount vouchers for ride-hailing services, and acts as a cost aggregator for trips taken via public transport or private-hire services.

At the time, Zipster had plans to launch “three to five” subscription plans in the next six months, which will offer commuters up to 20 per cent savings.

zipster
Image Credit: Zipster

It was “poised to be the next disruptor in the land transport sector” and had plans to expand regionally, working with Enterprise Singapore.

Zipster said then that the beta version of its app has been downloaded by 16,000 users. It is unknown how much its user base has grown over the years.

It’s also not clear when Zipster’s services was discontinued, but mobilityX had inked a partnership with ST Engineering and the Alliance for Action on Robotics for a three-month driverless bus trial at Singapore Science Park 2. 

Registered Zipster users were apparently notified in advance of the closure. The app can no longer be found on Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

Axel Tan, general manager of SMRT Ventures, the rail operator’s corporate venture arm, told The Straits Times (ST) that the shareholders of mobilityX had decided to stop funding the startup after reviewing its prospects and progress.

This was also taking into account a “tough business and regulatory environment”, he added.

Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) is not a new concept in Singapore, but there has been no viable MaaS company here as of yet.

In 2019, ride-hailing giant Grab added a trip planner feature to its app and later introduced transport subscription packages.

Most recently, taxi operator ComfortDelGro launched a lifestyle and mobility app called Zig, which combines journey planning, taxi bookings and lifestyle discovery into an all-in-one app.

Featured Image Credit: mobilityX

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