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Singapore welcomes new multi-services app

Image credits: www.straitstimes.com/global

In Singapore, service-providing apps are prominent and contribute to a large amount of the country’s market share. That amount will continue to grow as a multi-million-dollar app will soon be launched in the country to help users find their way around, call a taxi, make reservations at restaurants and even book staycations, all on one free platform.

The new tech venture by a transport giant is a one-stop app that melds transport, food, and leisure services, as the company goes head-to-head with competition such as ride-hailing firms. While the developer’s core business remains transportation services, the app is part of the company’s pivot to offering more online services, drawing from its S$100 million venture capital fund to aid in its digitalisation efforts.

The company’s managing director and group chief executive officer said the project is the first time the land transport company is rolling out such an all-in-one lifestyle and mobility app. In a digital world, mobility is no longer just about simply transporting people from point A to B. It is about bringing services to people wherever they are, whenever they need, he added.

The app provides an interactive map-based interface that shows both nearby attractions and functions as a navigation tool, giving locals – and tourists – an avenue to discover little-known parts of Singapore. By partnering with restaurant-booking platforms, it also allows users to pre-order food and drinks from their pick of more than 1,500 restaurants and cafes for quick collection. The company also partnered with an international travel agency, adding hotel booking options and entertainment deals to the platform, including more offbeat and recreational experiences.

With the demand for taxi rides still below pre-Covid-19 levels, the app aims to give the company’s cabbies a boost by drawing a wider lifestyle user base and offering them an in-app taxi booking function. This is in addition to the existing booking app of the company, which will continue to operate.

Moreover, the company said that as more users are onboarded, more innovative services will be rolled out. While there are no plans yet to offer food delivery, a very possible prospect is the inclusion of hawker stalls, cinemas, and supermarkets on the app.

Also, local marketing executives say the app could bring about greater visibility for restaurants. They think the app will bring about great brand awareness and it is good that the platform targets public transport commuters, taxi riders and has geolocation features, which has become a norm for most app-based service providers.

Meanwhile, educators from the National University of Singapore Business School said that the app is a “natural evolution” for the company, which already has a ready pool of drivers. For him, the super app market is not oversaturated. The country is just scratching at the surface and there is still room for improvement. Every company will come onto the field with a different synergy, a different set of a starting point and different value propositions.

In contrast, educators at the Singapore Polytechnic School of Business, believe it will be hard for the company to differentiate its offerings from other platforms, as Singapore’s market is too small, and to affect a platform shift, they will have to pump in as many dollars as possible to gain market share. They further added that the platform that can integrate all its services on one platform most seamlessly will emerge on top. It is about offering a particular lifestyle, and it must all be interconnected.

Accordingly, as reported by OpenGov Asia, the country’s Department of Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat allocated over S$24 billion over the next three years to help mature enterprises ranging from micro to large firms, to invest in new and emerging technologies to sharpen their competitiveness. The government is looking to catalyse a wide range of capital to co-fund and enable businesses to innovate, transform and scale.

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