By Tom Noda
Almost a year after its own launch in the Philippines, Southeast Asian taxi-booking mobile app GrabTaxi formally unveiled on Wednesday, May 21, its new chauffeur service in Manila called GrabCar.
The GrabCar app is included in the current free GrabTaxi mobile app itself that is available for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry devices. Users can select the GrabCar option to narrow down the search for GrabCar vehicles that provides an authorized private driver.
Anthony Tan, co-founder of GrabTaxi, said the new service expands the benefits of GrabTaxi to a new network of drivers.
GrabCar gives passengers the option to select a private car if they require one and a higher chance to make a successful booking during peak hours.
“GrabCar not only gives consumers more options, it will also be positive for taxi drivers in the GrabTaxi network,” Tan said. “This will increase the volume of cars available to passengers and build consumer confidence and loyalty in GrabTaxi platform and more rides for taxi drivers.”
He added GrabCar will also give GrabTaxi passengers an upmarket personalized experience. “We see that there’s an opportunity to fill a gap in the industry without taking away business from our core user-base of taxis.”
Tan said GrabCar applies the same objectives on safety, convenience, and speed. It is also designed to aid an inefficient system and develop a safer environment for both passengers and drivers.
Tan shared there are now 1.2 million downloads of GrabTaxi mobile app around 250,000 plus active users in the SEA region, city by city.
Officially launched in Klang Valley, Malaysia as MyTeksi in June 2012, GrabTaxi was introduced in Manila in August 2013 and became a partner of Globe Telecom in October of the same year. And in January 2014, GrabTaxi did a Beta launch in Cebu City.
GrabTaxi has expanded also in Singapore, Bangkok, and Vietnam. It is claimed to be the largest booking app and one of the fastest growing for-profit social start-up companies in the SEA region.