It was announced in Singapore with much fanfare. Everyone was getting all excited.
The introduction of a new ride-sharing company to rival Uber and Grab will represent more competition, more savings and promo codes for riders.
5 months ago
SixTNC was launched in June 2017. They had big promises that garnered lots of attention and created much hope. They attempted to differentiate from their competitors by offering 2 main features.
Fixed fare, no surge – All fares on the SixTNC platform are fixed and riders will not be paying for any demand surcharge
Overriding scheme for drivers – It was a first of its kind in Singapore. Anyone who referred a driver to sign-up and drives for SixTNC would earn an overriding payout of 5% of Driver’s income. SixTNC claimed that an annual income of $100,000 is possible if driver ropes in 30 others and all 30 drivers make $150 a day.
The dream of making $100,000 per annum as a private-hire driver attracted many drivers to explore the opportunity. Drivers rushed to sign-up and share their referral code on social media, hoping to sign drivers up under their ‘umbrella’ and making overriding income from those under their umbrella. It was reported that more than 1,000 existing drivers had expressed interest in signing up.
What has happened then?
After the mad-rush to sign-up, there have been no news, wind or any mention of the ride-hailing company. Firstlane was only alerted when we saw a post on a SixTNC discussion group.
The Driver was complaining that there were no calls in town during the peak hour. Almost a day later, he realised he forgot to go offline and was surprised to receive a call on the SixTNC Driver’s app. The driver was in Choa Chu Kang at the point of time and the pick-up location was in Tiong Bahru.
Based on the nearest driver gets the call algorithm, he may be the nearest driver to the rider’s pickup location or the only driver available at that point of time.
A check on SixTNC’s Facebook page also did not show any updates or announcement, a worrying sign for the technology company.
Will it ever take off
Many ride-hailing hopefuls have attempted to challenge the big 2 in Singapore. Those who have been in this industry long enough should remember names like Easy Taxi, Hailo and Karhoo. Some of these companies were heavily funded. Karhoo was a UK company that had a global presence. They had funding of US$250million and had set up office in Singapore. A year after, they closed down without even launching their service in Singapore.
Uber and Grab spent a fortune trying to capture the market in Singapore. Both companies offer an attractive sign-up bonus for Drivers and give weekly promo codes to Riders to increase ridership on their platform.
Uber has also invested heavily in Lion City Rental to attract drivers to rent from LCR and drive for Uber. Grab has also signalled their intention to build the biggest fleet in the region after the latest round of funding raised US$700million.
The private-hire industry can do with greater competition. The loss of any competitor would present more power to the ones left standing and drivers would be at the beck and call of those in power.
It is still a mystery what SixTNC is up to but the signs are not looking good.