Vietnam ride-hailing app FastGo to hit Singapore streets

By Hung Le   March 23, 2019 | 12:29 am PT
Vietnam ride-hailing app FastGo to hit Singapore streets
Founded in April 2018, FastGo Vietnam JSC was launched its service after Uber’s exit from Southeast Asia last June. Photo by Reuters
Vietnamese ride-hailing firm FastGo is set to launch Singapore operations in April as part of its regional expansion plans.

The nine-month old Vietnamese start-up has announced that drivers will be able to register on its ride hailing application from April 1, and customers can use the service from April 30.

Diep Nguyen, country manager for FastGo Singapore, said the company’s fleet size will be at least 3,000 cars.

Singapore is the third country in which FastGo will operate, after Vietnam and Myanmar. The firm is expected to face fierce competition from market incumbents including  Singapore’s Grab, Indonesia’s Go-Jek, as well as local startups Ryde and TADA.

FastGo, which is part of Vietnamese technology startup NextTech Group, has plans to launch in five other countries in the region, including Indonesia and the Philippines, by the end of 2019.

While FastGo has not yet publicised fares, but the ride-hailing app will not charge peak period surcharges, and customers can tip drivers.

FastGo aims to undercut competitors like Grab and Go-Jek, who collect 20 percent of ride fares from drivers, by charging them a fixed daily subscription fee of $5 if a driver’s income exceeds $30 a day.

However, Singaporean newspaper Today Online has quoted economist Walter Theseira, an associate professor at the Singapore University of Social Sciences, as saying "another small entrant" will not make a difference to the local ride-hailing market, unless the new player is financially backed by a strong sponsor or a well-known Singaporean firm.

"Other than GoJek and Grab, the other (existing) players have very small market share and have difficulty making much impact locally. The market is easy to enter but it’s very hard to get a substantial market share," he said.

Founded in April 2018, FastGo Vietnam JSC launched its service after Uber’s exit from Southeast Asia last June.

With almost 60,000 drivers onboard, the company claims to be the second most popular ride-hailing firm in Vietnam, following Grab.

After receiving an undisclosed sum in a Series A investment from venture capital platform VinaCapital Ventures in August last year, FastGo is aiming to raise another $50 million in its Series B investment round over the next few months.

According to the company’s statements, FastGo will diversify its services to include food delivery and financial services.

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