Here comes player #6 in Singapore’s ride-hailing scene

Unfortunately no, these guys aren’t related to Cardi B at all. Missed opportunity? Probably not. But honestly, with the entrance of new local ride-hailing start-up Kardi, which was announced just a couple of days back, it almost feels like the time when all the bike-sharing services started popping up one by one back in late 2016-early 2017. 

We get it; everyone wants a slice of the pie ever since Uber dropped Singapore (and the rest of Southeast Asia) to focus on their star child. We’re not saying it’s a bad thing, but while choice is good for consumers, it could dilute the market as a whole, and cause the very same problem that materialized when Uber and Grab were at loggerheads with each other, with taxi companies grumbling and coming up with partnerships to remain competitive. 

Do we really need six ride-hailing services to choose from? From the way we see it, there’s a finite pool of drivers in Singapore, which means that with more ride-hailing services, there’s a possibility that drivers would be sporadically spread out across all the services in Singapore; ergo, longer waiting times to get a ride, no matter which service you’re on. Another thing: If the demand is high on, let’s say, Grab, but the number of drivers have dipped with the dispersal of drivers across the board, that might also mean that surge prices would occur more often than we’d like.

Nonetheless, we’re still gonna keep on open mind on what’s to come in Singapore’s ride-hailing soap opera. So we take a look at what Kardi has to offer when it shifts into full gear this Sunday (Jun 10): 

The app is currently only available on Android Play Store (as of press time), but will be rolling out on the Apple App Store later today (Jun 8) according to their Facebook post. They’ve positioned themselves as a service that was “created by local drivers and ex-staff of ride-haililng apps”, promising that all drivers will be “paid fast and paid well” (they’ll paid every 48 hours, and the company will only take a 12% cut). As for us consumers, they’ve promised fair pricing (you can check out fair estimates on the website itself), weekly promo codes and the usual surge pricing, which they’ll be capping at $100. 

They’re also looking at putting safety as their priority, stating that each driver has been hand-picked, and that you can share your ride with loved ones (sounds familiar?). There’s even an SOS feature on the app for emergencies.

Seems promising enough. Could Kardi be the giant-killer that Grab-naysayers are hoping for? We remain cautiously optimistic as usual, at least until it rolls out. Besides, everyone needs to start somewhere, right? Even Grab wasn’t always the giant it is right now.