Go-Jek buys three startups to advance its mobile payment business

Jon Russell, writing for TechCrunch;

Go-Jek, the company leading Uber and Grab in Southeast Asia’s largest market, has bagged a hat trick of deals to advance its mobile payment strategy.

Indonesia-based Go-Jek revealed it has acquired offline payment firm Kartuku, payment gateway Midtrans and payment and lending network Mapan for undisclosed sums.

It’s starting to become a 3 way ride-sharing war in Southeast Asia; Uber vs Grab vs Go-Jek!!!

Go-Jek

GO-JEK is an Indonesian hyperlocal transport, logistics and payments startup founded in 2010. It aims to improve the welfare of workers in Indonesia’s vast informal sector. It is also the first startup of Indonesian origin to be classified as a transport system after closing a round of funding in August 2016. GO-JEK’s fleet now exceeds 400,000 drivers and includes motorcycles, cars and trucks. Go-Jek is available in 50 cities in Indonesia.

Source: Wikipedia

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.

Volvo Cars to supply Uber with up to 24,000 self-driving cars

Niklas Pollard, Heather Somerville, writing for Reuters;

Uber plans to buy up to 24,000 self-driving cars from Volvo, marking the transition of the U.S. firm from an app used to summon a taxi to the owner and operator of a fleet of cars.

Volvo XC90 from volvocars.com

From Volvo’s website, the base model XC90 T5 FWD Momentum have a $49,240 MSRP, while the top of the line 2018 XC90 T8 Plug-in Hybrid eAWD R-Design will have a $70,540 MSRP.

That’s more than $1.2 Billion in sales for Volvo in a span of 3 years (between 2019 and 2021).

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.

Makati City and LTFRB shuts down “Angkas”

Makati City Government and the Land Transportation and Franchising Board (LTFRB) has closed down Angkas, a professional on-demand motorcycle taxi service, because the firm have been operating without a valid Business Permit and its drivers have been involved in a number of traffic accidents.

Here’s official announcement;

Angkas on the other hand released a statement regarding their closure.

It’s always sad to see a company, with potential, shut down because of mis-management.

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.

Uber will be available in 7 cities in Saudi Arabia

Uber;

We are thrilled to announce that Uber is now available in new cities around Saudi Arabia: Qatif, Tarut, Jubail, Tabuk, Aseer (Abha, Khamis Mushait, Ahad Rufaidah), Jazan (Jazan, Sabya, Abo Arish) AlBaha, connecting more Saudi cities to safe, reliable and affordable rides.

To celebrate our newest cities, you can enjoy a 50% discount (from Monday Sept. 25, until 11:59pm Sunday, Oct 1st). Just open your Uber app and enter the promo code KSACITIES17 to enjoy 50% off two rides up to SAR50 each in Qatif, Tarut, Jubail, Tabuk, Aseer (Abha, Khamis Mushait, Ahad Rufaidah), Jazan (Jazan, Sabya, Abo Arish) and AlBaha.

Uber Faces Widespread Asia Bribery Allegations Amid U.S. Criminal Probe

Eric Newcomer, reporting for Bloomberg;

Uber Technologies Inc., facing a federal probe into whether it broke laws against overseas bribery, has embarked on a review of its Asia operations and notified U.S. officials about payments made by staff in Indonesia, people with knowledge of the matter said.

As the Justice Department looks into a possible criminal case, Uber is working with law firm O’Melveny & Myers LLP to examine records of foreign payments and interview employees, raising questions about why some potentially problematic business dealings weren’t disclosed sooner, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the details are private.

Philippines?!

I’m not sure but I’ll just link these here;

UberFlash and UberTaxi launch in Malaysia

Leighton Cosseboom, writing for Tech in Asia;

Uber Malaysia introduced two new services today, UberFlash and UberTaxi, aiming to make it easier for Malaysians to use the ride-hailing app.

With UberTaxi, Malaysian taxi cabs will be available upon request via Uber. Meanwhile, UberFlash will connect riders to the driver closest to them, whether that is a private UberX car or a taxi on the e-hailing network.

Uber is launching these services inside Grab’s own backyard.

You can read Uber’s announcement here.

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.

Uber reportedly picks Expedia CEO as its new CEO

Anisa Menur A. Maulani, writing for e27;

Ride-hailing giant Uber has appointed Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi as the company’s new CEO, according to a Reuters report.

Newly appointed Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, on his first day, will have a lot on its plate. Fixing first the sexism culture in the company and second the problem in the Philippines, hopefully!

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.

New malware masquerades as a ride-sharing app

John Biggs, reporting for TechCrunch;

An update to the venerable Faketoken.q Android malware has made it easier for the program to steal your credit card information from ride-sharing apps. Faketoken attacks Russian ride-sharing apps by overlaying text boxes on the credit card information pages that can capture your credit number and other important information.

You may want to read this article by Kaspersky on how “Faketoken.q,” tricks you into capturing your credit card information.

MiCab

MiCab, a Cebu-based ride-sharing startup that, unlike Uber or Grab, “exclusively partner with taxi fleet companies who take pride in their service, putting the value of their vehicles and drivers top of the priority.”

MiCab is currently available in Visayas; Cebu City and Iloilo City, with plans to launch the service in Metro Manila and Davao City.

MiCab is one of the 20 Startup Finalist of IdeaSpace’s 2013 Startup Competition.

MiCab in Manila to launch next month

Alyza Angeles, writing for Yugatech;

MiCab, a Visayas-based taxi-hailing app, will finally pave its way in Metro Manila next month.

If I were MiCab, I’ll launch the service in Manila this month!

MiCab, a homegrown ride-sharing service. The service “exclusively partner with taxi fleet companies who take pride in their service, putting the value of their vehicles and drivers top of the priority” which means none of that LTFRB-drama.

Their app is available to both iOS and Android users.