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Food to parcels: How this ride-hailing startup is ‘Ryde-ing’ on the delivery boom in S’pore

Ryde

The food delivery industry is already pretty saturated, with GrabFood, foodpanda, and Deliveroo taking the main stage. So is the parcel delivery market with Ninja Van, Lalamove and GrabExpress.

But there’s one new food and parcel delivery player that is still ready to come in strong: ride-hailing firm Ryde.

Ryde launched its RydeSEND service in beta mode last year, and plans to work on developing this service further, the ride-hailing firm said, in an email interview with Vulcan Post.

RydeSEND is an on-demand door-to-door delivery service. Users can select the RydeSEND service in their Ryde app and expect their stuff to be delivered within 50 minutes upon pick up. They will also be able to track their stuff in real-time.

RydeSEND advertorials on its Facebook page / Image Credit: Ryde

RydeSEND offers route optimisation algorithms to suggest shorter routes which it claims helps businesses reduce costs and delivery times.

“We are expanding our delivery vertical to cater to the growing needs of the parcel delivery in Singapore…We see growth in this vertical, especially in these times where people are encouraged to stay home,” said Ryde.

The firm recently launched an upgraded version of RydeSEND that delivers up to three stops per booking.

A check on its Facebook page showed advertorials for birthday cakes and food deliveries. The company is also offering cashback for every RydeSEND trip on a promotional basis.

Ryde has plans to grow this vertical for next year too, and one place to get capital to fund this will be via its planned public listing on Singapore Exchange’s Catalist board in 2022.

The firm had said that the funds raised could be used to enhance RydeSEND services. For example, reducing fees if drivers were to make multiple stops and dropoffs.

In a March media release, the ride-hailing firm said that it hit profitability for the first time in the fourth quarter of 2020, and gross transaction value grew close to four-fold since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ryde’s app has been downloaded by more than 700,000 users. The company has processed more than 16 million bookings since its inception in 2014. In the email interview, it said that there’s been an increasing number of bookings from riders, but did not elaborate.

The Ryde app / Image Credit: Ryde

The ride hailing firm currently has more than 12,000 active drivers on its platform, and wants to keep growing the number to meet this “increasing number of bookings from riders”.

No plans to change low 10% driver comms fee

Ryde maintains a 10 per cent commission fee and 0 per cent for RydeTAXI, and said it has no plans to increase the rates any time soon. The market average for commission is 20 to 25 per cent.

The company had claimed in earlier reports its key competitive advantage is its lower fees. This means that Ryde drivers can take home S$9.00 for every S$10.00 made.

“We do not have plans to increase the commission in the near future as we want to let drivers take home more for each trip,” Ryde said to Vulcan Post.

The firm has made known its plans to grab a 30 per cent of Singapore’s ride-sharing market by 2023, challenging major players like Gojek and Grab.

Cashless payments here to stay

The pandemic has caused a 38 per cent increase in cashless transactions compared to a year ago, said Ryde.

“We observe a spike in the number of people opting for digital payment methods. Cashless transactions are preferred now to minimise the contact between driver and riders,” Ryde said.

Cashless payments have picked up significantly due to the pandemic / Image Credit: Ryde

Ryde said the cashless payment modes include RydeCoins and credit card payments. It is currently working to onboard other payment methods, and will give more details in due course.

Providing an update to its Bitcoin payment service, the ride-hailing firm said that the adoption rate is still at its infancy. The company is only accepting Bitcoin as a cryptocurrency for payments at the moment, but is keeping close tabs on the crypto scene.

A virtual driver centre

Drivers are the core essentials of the business, and Ryde is doing more to support them.

It is working on building a digital driver centre where drivers can get all the necessary materials for onboarding, or to answer any of their questions virtually.

“We aim to build a sustainable network for our business to thrive and serve the mobility and delivery needs of Singapore,” said Ryde.

Founder and CEO of Ryde, Terence Zou / Image Credit: Ryde

The centre is in its first phase of launch, where it conducts regular training sessions virtually for drivers to get familiar with the company’s products, policies, and new features.

“All drivers who are new to our platform, or are returning after a long time, are encouraged to attend these sessions. We intend to make it a standard onboarding process in time.”


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Featured Image Credit: Ryde, Mashable

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