How S’pore Ride-Hailing Firm TADA Sets Itself Apart From Grab, Gojek

Almost three years ago, the TADA carpooling service entered the Singapore market along with a large number of other companies.

It is now also present in Vietnam and Cambodia with around 100,000 drivers and 890,000 users.

Most recently, the company behind TADA – MVLLABS – raised $ 15 million in Series B funding to build an electric vehicle (EV) model to launch in Cambodia. ONiON T1 is a modernized version of the traditional three-wheeler tuk-tuk, and will be added to TADA’s fleet in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

According to Kay Woo, founder of TADA, Cambodia has a unique transportation system and almost everyone uses platforms like TADA to flag down rides.

As a three-wheeler (tuk-tuks) are the primary means of transportation and delivery of packages, TADA saw a huge opportunity to transform these three-wheelers with internal combustion engine (ICE) into electric vehicles.

ONiON T1 / Image Credit: TADA

To reduce the cost of owning TADA’s electric vehicles compared to ICE-based three-wheelers, its proposal is based on a cost-effective and environmentally friendly model supported by its ONiON battery exchange station infrastructure.

More importantly, the 40-year-old founder believes that after refining this model in Cambodia, the team will be able to replicate it quickly in South Asia and Africa.

TADA also plans to support the transition to sustainable mobility in Singapore by offering a localized version of the ONiON EV mode – electric two-wheelers supported by its battery swap station and back-up charger.

Blockchain-based, zero commission

TADA telephony
Image Credit: Fintech Singapore

Construction workers, especially drivers, tend to be treated as an unsustainable resource.

“Faced with this problem, most people seek generous help in terms of funding or advanced technological capabilities. Unfortunately, we didn’t have either, ”Kay explained.

This ultimately led them to take the path no one had taken before – by giving up collecting money through commissions. In doing so, Kay believes that TADA can solve workers’ problems together and, in turn, earn their loyalty to ensure the survival of the company.

Since its launch in 2018, TADA has not charged any commission fees. Drivers can keep 100% of the income from each trip, excluding transaction fees for credit or debit cards.

Over the years, the company has stuck to that promise and Kay told Vulcan Post that TADA supports their drivers in any way they can.

The drivers in turn supported TADA by encouraging more drivers to join its network, thus expanding its reach and providing more reliable service to its riders.

Our strategy is not based on burning short-term liquidity to gain significant market share. We take a longer-term perspective to be able to consistently deliver on our promises.

Our zero commission model, based on the philosophy of blockchain, promises that we are working to create an ecosystem of mutual benefit for each of our stakeholders.

Kay Woo, founder of TADA

The zero commission model also translates into lower prices for consumers. Here’s a price comparison between TADA and and cycling giants Grab and Gojek without price increases:

AnyTADA JustGrabGojek (GoCar)
Boon Keng MRT Station at City Square Mall (1.9 km)S $ 5.70S $ 6.30S $ 6.10
Orchard MRT Station to Exit 8 (10 km)S $ 8.70S $ 14.30S $ 10.40
Pasir Ris MRT Station to Jurong Point (37km)€ 24.60€ 27.30€ 21.60

In most cases, TADA is the cheapest of the three players. In the event that customers request an additional stop, an additional S $ 3 charge for the additional stop, as well as the distance and time rates for the additional trip will be charged.

There is also a platform fee of S $ 0.30 for trips costing less than S $ 18 and S $ 0.50 for trips costing more than S $ 18.

In addition, TADA operates on an ‘incentive-based blockchain mobility ecosystem’, and the foundation of it is the Blockchain Mass Vehicle Ledger (MVL) protocol.

The ecosystem seeks to connect various stakeholders within the vehicle industry, including drivers, drivers, automakers, repair service providers, and insurance companies.

Through MVL, all driving data will be brought together in a central database so that a vehicle’s complete journey history can be tracked, stored and easily accessible to parts of the ecosystem. The data collected includes driving speeds, traffic records, and even vehicle repair history.

As an incentive, drivers will be rewarded with MVL points for providing rides, while runners can earn MVL points by leaving reviews after each ride.

These MVL Points can then be converted into MVL Coins, MVL’s digital token or cryptocurrency, which can optionally be used to redeem goods and services from MVL Partners, or be cashed out.

The evolution of TADA

Image Credit: TADA

Kay told Vulcan Post that since MVLLABS started in 2012, it has failed more than three times. As technical founders, Kay and her co-founder Jay Han didn’t know how to market their products.

“We made the same mistakes over and over again. Our biggest mistake was to just look for financial gain, ”Kay said.

Looking back, Kay realized that they should have been focusing on solving problems for people, rather than just focusing on profitability.

Finally, after seven years of learning from their failures, the duo implemented the blockchain MVL protocol and the TADA service.

When we first launched TADA, people said we would be gone within a year or start charging commissions. Yet we proved them wrong and TADA built a relationship of trust with our drivers, which I appreciate more than the financial returns.

Kay Woo, founder of TADA

Of course, the trip was not easy. Kay believes that as one of the newcomers to the industry, there are a lot of improvements that need to be made to catch up with the “bigger peers”.

In the past three years of operation, the tech team has performed over 500 updates to meet the needs of their users, with over 100 updates made in just the first six months of launch.

The team is now working to increase its traffic and build a loyal user base.

Earlier in March, the company launched its new corporate portal, TADA Corporate, to respond to
changing transport needs.

The portal includes a suite of tools to streamline administrative processes, gives business leaders greater flexibility in managing freight costs, and is available to businesses of all sizes.

From a single dashboard, business leaders can allocate and modify budgets, as well as regulate employee access to company payment methods.

Any changes to the TADA Corporate portal will be reflected in real time, providing key decision makers with a complete overview of their spending and allowing them to seamlessly implement company transportation policies.

In the long term, Kay envisions that TADA’s technology will power the way people move through parts of India, Africa, and Latin / Central America – regions they call the “belt.” equatorial TADA ”.

“We envision a world where our products and services will have a positive impact on the drivers living in this region, which in turn will bring changes to respective societies, environments and economies in the long run,” said Kay.

Featured Image Credit: TADA

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Jothi Venkat

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