Established in 2020 by Deniel Singh and George Lim Ting, Geolah is touted to be a “next-gen tech platform” that offers a wide array of transportation services including ride-hailing, private chauffeur, carpool and parcel delivery.
The two founders had first met back in 2018 when Deniel was a vice president in a tech company, assisting startups and large enterprises to envision, innovate and build web and mobile platforms.
With over 23 years of experience in both business and IT, he possesses a deep understanding of the industry and a strong passion for creating service platforms to digitise different domains.
Meanwhile, Lim Ting is a self-made entrepreneur who has traveled the world while managing multiple businesses. His goal is to use digital transformation to make transportation and food more accessible and affordable for everyone, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Geolah was born during the ‘circuit breaker’ period, and the business idea came about as a result of Deniel’s personal experience as a private-hire vehicle (PHV) driver. He had identified several challenges and gaps within the traditional ride-hailing business model, so the duo set out to find solutions.
I realised there were ground challenges and gaps within the business model. We eventually found possible solutions, and Geolah was then founded by locals for locals.– Deniel Singh, co-founder and COO of Geolah
With Geolah, their mission is to create a superapp that offers a wide range of affordable transportation services and introduce zero commission fee for partner-drivers.
Drivers don’t have to pay any commission fees
According to Deniel, some of the standout factors of Geolah is that it offers flexible work hours and a better work-life balance for its drivers, as well as affordable ride fares and a digital driver onboarding process.
They also introduced zero-commission fees for its driver-partners — this means that all ride fares goes directly to the drivers, empowering them to meet their daily basic expenses such as daily car rental, petrol, parking et cetera.
Due to the high cost of car rental and petrol, [it] leads to lower income [for drivers]. We want our pool of partner-drivers to achieve maximum income to meet their daily basic needs.– Deniel Singh, co-founder and COO of Geolah
In contrast, major platform players charge drivers between 10 and 20 per cent commission fees, which are deducted from each trip. Drivers only enjoy rebates or incentives when they complete a certain number of trips within a stipulated period.
Deniel added that since Geolah enables maximum earnings for partner-drivers, they monetise through rebates from strategic partners instead. Geolah allows big brands to launch targeted advertising campaigns and promotions on its platform and over time, it hopes that this will become a significant source of revenue by becoming a channel for sponsored content for both passengers and drivers.
With an aim to provide affordable fares for passengers, Geolah’s ride fares are calculated based on driver availability, distance, and the type of service.
To date, the startup has recruited over 540 drivers, and it aims to recruit 2.5 per cent of the total TDVL and PDVL pool of local drivers within the next 24 months. Citing statistics from the Land Transport Authority, Deniel said that there are currently approximately 90,000 TDVL and 47,000 PDVL drivers in Singapore.
Business roadmap for the next two years
In the next two years, Geolah will be progressively introducing other services such as carpool, AirportXpress, CrossBorder, land tours, parcel, food and grocery delivery services.
Its ride-hailing service GeoRide will be launching its beta trial on 14 February 2023, allowing passengers to book a ride for private-hire cars, fixed meter taxis and private chauffeurs for one, four, or eight-hour durations.
In the third quarter of this year, Geolah will also be rolling out “community rides” with the goal of providing subsidised and free rides.
We will educate and encourage our pool of partner-drivers to give back and volunteer to offer rides, such as fetching and sending animals from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) to vets. We are also engaging other non-profit associations to offer community ride service for the less fortunate, disabled and elderly who needs to move around.– Deniel Singh, co-founder and COO of Geolah
Then in the early fourth quarter of this year, Geolah will roll out its on-demand parcel delivery service, GeoMove.
Subsequently, from 2025 onwards, its online grocery delivery service GeoMart, online food ordering service GeoBites, and transportation service GeoTrans will be rolled out.
In particular, GeoTrans is a feature that’s unique to Geolah, which offers heavy trucking services such as ambulance, buses and trucks, for both the B2C and B2B segments.
With these slew of services, along with its zero-commission fees and affordable fares, Geolah hopes to attract more users and drivers onboard. By the end of 2023, it hopes to reach “thousands of users”.
Ultimately, it aims to shape itself to become a ‘superapp’ as it works on building a large user base, high engagement model, and a strong ecosystem of strategic partners.
We must continue to innovate and evolve to provide a better user experience and a reliable infrastructure. [As part of] our strategy to [gain more] market share, we emphasise in educating our partner-drivers on adopting our zero-commission fees and be open to feedback. We strongly believe this helps to identify areas of improvement to grow the Geolah community.– Deniel Singh, co-founder and COO of Geolah
As a self-funded startup, Deniel claims that the founders have sufficiently invested to sustain the business for five years. As part of their growth plans, they are currently expanding the team and looking out for great talents to join the company.
Additionally, they are exploring new markets across Southeast Asia and Asia Pacific to increase its user base and revenue streams. In particular, they are expecting to launch in Brunei, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
They are also working on identifying new technologies and trends to introduce to the platform, and is open for collaborations and partnerships.
Featured Image Credit: Geolah