Singapore

Ride-hailing firm Urge to offer multiple services, even food delivery

A new ride-hailing firm is hoping to make a mark both in Singapore and across the Causeway.

Singapore-based Urge aims to differentiate itself from the companies that have entered the market following Uber's exit by offering not only private-hire cars, but also food delivery, logistics and courier services.

While Urge, like Grab, allows freelancers to drive on its platform, it also takes in full-time drivers as salaried employees.

According to documents seen by The Straits Times, these drivers are paid a basic salary of $2,700 and are provided benefits such as annual leave.

"We have about 20 full-timers and between 50 and 80 freelancers," said Urge chief operating officer Kelvin Ho, 39.

He added that the company hopes to have 2,000 drivers on board in the next three months, and said Urge will not employ dynamic pricing.

"There is no (price) surge for high-demand times, but we will have a minimal peak-hour surcharge," he said.

Urge has a fleet of about 100 cars, said its chief liaison officer Derrick Neo, 39.

It had a soft launch of its private-hire car service over the past two days and aims to have a full launch within a month.

Mr Ho declined to comment on how much Urge had in funding.

Mr Neo said Urge had "keen investors" from countries such as China and Malaysia.

It had also considered using motorcycles for its ride-hailing services here. However, it had to abandon the idea as they are not allowed to be used for point-to-point transportation services.

Mr Ho suggested motorcycles could be used for its services in Malaysia instead, which it aims to launch "concurrently" with its Singapore service.

Urge is part of a slew of companies that have entered Singapore's ride-hailing space since Uber's exit in May.

Others include Ryde, which introduced its RydeX private-hire car service in May, as well as MVL Foundation, which launched its Tada app last month.

This month, Indian ride-hailing firm Jugnoo announced it was shutting down its Singapore service and partnering with local firm Kardi on providing technical expertise.

Transport