Ride-hailing platform Uber discussed teaming up with Singapore’s largest taxi company to help it compete against rival Grab.
An alliance with ComfortDelGro, with 15,500 taxis in the city-state, would double the number of vehicles managed on Uber’s app, The Straits Times reported. In exchange for access to the taxi company’s cars, Uber could share its fleet management expertise.
The other taxi companies in the city are cooperating with Singapore-based Grab, the most popular ride-hailing service in Southeast Asia, the newspaper said.
In a statement to the Singapore Exchange, ComfortDelGro said it signed an “exclusivity letter” with Uber to discuss forming a “potential strategic alliance”.
The taxi company’s fleet declined 5 per cent since Uber and Grab introduced services in Singapore in 2013, The Straits Times said.
To overcome new regulations, Uber teamed up with Indonesia’s second largest taxi operator, Express, to launch a pilot car-booking programme in December 2016.
Uber encountered a series of setbacks in Asia, with authorities cracking down on the service in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. Last week the transport regulator in the Philippines suspended its taxi-hailing service for a month.
In August 2016 Uber threw in the towel in China and merged its loss-making Chinese business with local rival Didi Chuxing.
Uber is facing fierce competition from Grab, which raised as much as $2 billion from Japan’s SoftBank and China’s largest taxi-hailing company Didi Chuxing, valuing the startup at more than $5 billion.