Apr 24, 2014

GrabTaxi and Comfort: Disruptor and Disruptee

I only discovered GrabTaxi when I saw Lip Hong share this link on Facebook. (Lip Hong also writes at Investment Moats.

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised that something like this is happening in Singapore. My mum who did not know of this app, thought that it was also a good idea because of many bad experiences while trying to book taxis before.

I took a Comfort taxi today, and decided to ask the driver if he was using it.

He was not, however, he did try and accepted 1 booking job but did not continue using it despite being equipped to do so. His reason was that Comfort banned its drivers from using GrabTaxi, so he did not dare to use the GrabTaxi service even though he said he was able to get bookings almost anywhere he was driving. He added that some drivers have switched over to other taxi companies recently.

I thought I had heard the answer there. The answer to the problem of people finding difficulties getting taxis at certain 'ulu' places, miscommunication between the customer and the driver (or even the call centre), and etc.

He mentioned briefly that GrabTaxi was Temasek-linked which got me curious so I decided to find out more. Indeed it was, a subsidiary of Temasek and angel investors have come together to inject an 8-figure sum into GrabTaxi, you can read more here.

Just like the disruptive innovations that this VC firm invests in, Singapore needs more of such especially in mature sectors with little to no competition.

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