oBike and Grab partner up

Judith Balea, writing for Tech in Asia;

OBike today announced a strategic partnership with ride-hailing company Grab.

For starters, oBike will integrate GrabPay into its app, offering its riders another cashless payment option and the ability to earn GrabReward points. Grab branding will also appear on its bikes.

Grab announces acquisition of Bangalore-based payments startup iKaaz

Grab;

Grab, the leading on-demand transportation and mobile payments platform in Southeast Asia, today announced it has acquired Bangalore-based payments startup iKaaz. The rich functionality of iKaaz’ mobile payments platform and its experienced leadership team will accelerate feature development and partner integration of GrabPay, Grab’s payments platform. Already Southeast Asia’s #1 ride-hailing platform, Grab is expanding across all markets in Southeast Asia in 2018 with the goal of becoming the region’s universal payments platform.

Launched in 2014, iKaaz’ technology was built to work in India’s challenging internet conditions and enable effortless and fast payments for thousands of merchants. Ikaaz’ technology stack encompasses a range of innovations, such as NFC, QR-code, audio-based payments as well as bill payments, online payments and P2P. This flexibility and scalability make it ideally suited for Southeast Asia’s diverse payments landscape and large unbanked population.

Indonesian ride-sharing service Go-Jek to expand in the Philippines this coming 2018

Looks like another ride-sharing service wants to take a shot at solving, or at least lessening the traffic in the Philippines, as news of Indonesian ride-sharing service Go-Jek to expand in the Philippines next year.

In an article on GMA News, Ajey Gore, Go-Jek’s Group CTO said in an interview that “almost all Southeast Asian countries are on the radar over the next three, six to 12 months. The Philippines will be the first one just to figure out how things work.”

Go-Jek is a ride-sharing service that started in Indonesia last 2010 with a call centre and fleet of 20 riders. Today, it has more than 400,000 drivers and includes motorcycles, cars and trucks, and available in 50 cities in Indonesia.

Once operational in the Philippines, they will go head-to-head with Uber and Grab, not to mention LTFRB.

Taxi driver attacks passenger who insisted on using meter

Margaret Claire Layug/JST, writing for GMA News;

A taxi driver was caught on camera hitting his passenger after a dispute over the use of the cab’s meter.

Michael Benitez was able to film his attacker with his cellphone right before he hit him in the face, as seen in a “24 Oras” report by Susan Enriquez on Friday.

One more reason why ride-sharing is thriving and fast becoming the preferred mode of transportation for Metro Manila commuters.

City Government of Cebu to use Uber’s system to track government vehicles and personnel

Alyza Angeles, writing for Yugatech;

Cebu City Mayor Tomas “Tommy” Osmeña announced today that the City Government of Cebu will be using Uber’s system to track the movement of government vehicles and personnel. The reason? To make sure that these government vehicles are used properly.

Here’s the full text of Cebu City Mayor Tomas “Tommy” Osmeña’s announcement.

Under this program, there will be no more overpriced vehicles with “missing” spare parts. No more “sick” drivers being paid to do nothing. No more fuel stolen from gas tanks. No more red-plate vehicles used to bring employees’ families to the beach or mall. And since Uber and Grab are available to everyone, the prices charged to government can be made very transparent. Overpricing is next to impossible, and employees are tracked wherever they go.

Good job!

Hopefully other LGU and municipalities will follow suit!

Looks like City of Cebu will be utilizing Uber for Business.

Model Grab driver killed by thieves disguised as passengers

Lian Buan, writing for Rappler;

Grab Philippines said on Saturday, October 28, that one of their partner drivers was killed by unidentified suspects who also took the driver’s car.

The driver was Gerardo Amolato Maquidato Jr who was shot and killed evening of Thursday, October 26, by unidentified suspects who booked and rode as regular passengers.

A sad day for the ride-sharing community in the Philippines. Hopefully, whoever did this will be apprehended soon!

Singapore Will Stop Increasing Car Numbers From February 2018

Sebastian Tong, reporting for Bloomberg;

Singapore, among the world’s most expensive places to own a vehicle, will stop increasing the total number of cars on its roads next year.

The government will cut the annual growth rate for cars and motorcycles to zero from 0.25 percent starting in February, the transport regulator said on Monday.

If you’re in Singpore and have plans to buy a car, better do it now or else, since ride-sharing like Uber and Grab is widely available in the country, the transition will much less painful.

Uber allegedly used secret program to spy on Grab

Judith Balea, writing for Tech in Asia;

A secret Uber program supposedly spied on Southeast Asian rival Grab and stole data on its drivers, according to a Bloomberg report.

Called Surfcam, the program developed by an Uber staff out of its Sydney office scraped data published by competitors to figure out how many drivers were on their systems in real-time and where they were, the report said quoting anonymous sources. It started in 2015 while Travis Kalanick was CEO.

The tool, said to have been mainly used on Grab, raised concerns with a member of Uber’s legal team “who questioned whether it could be legally operated in Singapore because it may run afoul of Grab’s terms of service or the country’s strict computer-crime laws,” the report added.

It’s one of the invasive and possible illicit schemes that US authorities are looking into as they launched “at least five criminal probes” against the embattled ride-hailing company.

This is bad and its a Herculean task for Uber’s CEO to clean up the mess made by its previous CEO.

Singapore Airlines and Grab agree on extensive partnership

Grab;

Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Grab today announced a partnership to provide customers with more seamless travel experiences. SIA and Grab will integrate their mobile apps to offer enhanced convenience to customers when travelling to the airport in six countries across Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. This marks the coming together of the world’s most awarded airline and Southeast Asia’s leading ride-hailing and payments platform.

GrabCar and Uber will no longer accept bookings to deliver a package without the rider

Makes sense, if you factor in the safety of the driver and liability that will fall on the driver if the items that they’ll deliver are contraband.

However, this makes a great concept for a startup, an on-demand delivery no questions asks, a legal version of “Transporter”.

Grab and Toyota Launch Data Collaboration Initiative for Connected Car Services

Grab;

Grab, the leading on-demand transportation and mobile payments platform in Southeast Asia, today announced the launch of a new data-focused pilot programme with Toyota Motor Corporation, Toyota Financial Services Corporation, and Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co., Ltd. The project aims to use data analysis to enable Grab to offer its driver partners across the region improved access to connected car services that will improve their experience on the Grab platform.

As part of the initiative, Grab will share data on driving patterns from 100 Toyota cars in Grab’s fleet, captured by Toyota’s data-transmission driving recorder, TransLog. Toyota’s team will then analyse the data set and, based on this analysis, offer recommendations on how other connected car services on the Toyota Mobility Service Platform (MSPF) – such as user-based insurance, financing program, and predictive maintenance – could enhance the Grab experience for drivers on the Grab platform.

Grab Announces Strategic Investment from Toyota Tsusho

Grab;

Grab Inc. (“Grab”), the leading on-demand transportation and mobile payments platform in Southeast Asia, today announced that Toyota Tsusho Corporation (“Toyota Tsusho”), the sole general trading company of Toyota Group, has invested in Grab. Toyota Tsusho made this investment through its Next Technology Fund, and is the latest participant in Grab’s current financing round, led by SoftBank and Didi Chuxing.

A big win for Grab!

LTFRB do not have any legal basis for those fines against Uber and Grab

Written by Atty. Peter Michael Dizon;

The only legal bases for LTRFB penalties will show you a range between P5,000.00 for the first offense, P10,000.00 for a second offense, and P15,000.00 for a third offense. There are also other penalties in the amounts of P50,000.00, P75,000.00, P100,000.00, and P200,000.00 for various offenses.

The link was originally shared by James Deakin, if you’re following the Uber-LTFRB drama, this is a very good read.

I strongly encourage you to read the article, since it tackles the legal matters of Uber’s suspension and fines.

Grab will pour $100m into Myanmar as it faces off with Uber

Judith Balea, writing for Tech in Asia;

Grab, Southeast Asia’s leading ride-hailing app, has committed to invest US$100 million over the next three years in Myanmar, where Uber also debuted earlier this year.

The company will use the money to extend its services to more cities in the country, which has seen exploding mobile phone adoption. It will also roll out other products such as its digital payment feature GrabPay, and increase its local headcount to 200, it said in a statement. The company is exploring offering its corporate ‘Grab for Work’ solution after seeing healthy demand.

Win for ride-hailing apps as Indonesia overthrows key transportation rules

Nadine Freischlad, writing for Tech in Asia;

  • Indonesia’s supreme court, the country’s highest judiciary institution, has overthrown key parts of the regulatory framework that affect ride-hailing companies like Uber, Grab, and Go-Jek.
  • 18 paragraphs were ruled to be in conflict (PDF link) with existing laws regulating SMEs and the transportation sector and declared ineffective.

LTFRB could learn a thing or two from Indonesia’s experience. There’s a reason why Uber, Grab and other transport network vehicle services (TNVS) are thriving and that’s where LTFRB is failing the commuting public.

You can read the translated version of the original article here.

Grab and Uber render LTFRB irrelevant

Joel Ruiz Butuyan, writing for Inquirer.net;

With Grab and Uber, we have private companies that accredit vehicles which follow the responsibilities expected from licensed public transporters, even if most of them don’t have LTFRB franchises.

The LTFRB has become an outright failure in the performance of its government mandate because its licensing scheme amounts to a useless system in protecting the commuting public. Now come two private companies with new systems that have demonstrated rousing success in performing responsibilities which the LTFRB has completely abdicated.

A great read, specially if you are following the Gra, Uber and LTFRB drama.

To summarize, Grab, Uber and other transportation network company (TNC), brought out the shortcomings of both LTFRB and tax operators, which is the lack of infrastructure to moderate/penalize unscrupulous drivers.

We have to remember that Grab, Uber and other transportation network company (TNC) are already self-regulating and penalizes its driver, and reporting a unscrupulous Uber driver, is as easy as sending an email or text message.

Didi and Softbank to invest $2b in Grab; round may reach $2.5b

Judith Balea, reporting for Tech in Asia;

Southeast Asia’s leading transportation app Grab has new ammunition to battle rivals Uber and Go-Jek. The Singapore-headquartered company announced today that its two largest shareholders – China’s Didi Chuxing and Masayoshi Son-led Softbank – are investing up to US$2 billion to lead its current funding round.

Grab expects to raise an additional US$500 million from existing and new investors, bringing the round’s total to US$2.5 billion. Jack Ma’s Alibaba was supposedly eyeing to join in.

That’s one massive funding. This could threaten Uber’s growth in the region.

LTFRB fines Grab, Uber P5M each for permit violations

Rambo Talabong, reporting for Rappler;

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) imposed a fine of P5 million each on Uber and Grab on Tuesday, July 11, for letting some of their drivers operate without permits.

Not a good news for Grab and Uber drivers.

The LTFRB says the ride-hailing companies should have been closed down because of the violations, but the public interest ‘overrides’ this penalty.

How convenient for taxi operators!

Unless taxi change their attitude and stop being selective, Grab and Uber users will just continue to increase. When getting a taxi, I received at least 3 taxi refusal. Their reason(s) too traffic, too far and asking for a bigger flag-down rate.

Grab inks Kudo acquisition agreement, appoints new head of cashless payments solution

Anisa Menur A. Maulani, reporting for E27;

Rumours have been circulating around Indonesian startup communities since February 2017 that Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant Grab has acquired Indonesian O2O e-commerce platform Kudo.

After a period of silence, today Grab finally confirmed that it has signed an agreement to acquire Kudo.

This acquisition will surely help Grab Pay gain more ground.

GrabBae this Valentine’s Day!

Grab Ph;

Got no bae this Valentine’s Day? We’ve got you covered, as always. 😉

Calling all single ladies out there, will you be our Valentine?

On February 13 and 14, you can book your very own #GrabBae! Yup, this is legit. With just a few taps on your phone, prepare to feel the love from our cute #GrabBaes while they serenade you for FREE!

Here’s how:

  1. Open the Grab App.
  2. Tap on the “GrabBae” special icon from 11AM – 3PM.
  3. Input pick-up and drop off locations (must be the SAME) and within Makati Central Business District or BGC areas.
  4. Input promo code “GRABBAE” to qualify for the promotion. This promo is FREE!
  5. Wait for confirmation that you have booked a #GrabBae already.
  6. A Grab attendant will get in touch with you.
  7. Get ready to be serenaded and to receive flowers for free from our partner, Linea Fiori!
  8. Don’t forget to share your Valentine’s experience by using the hashtag #GrabBae.