Grab goes into motorcycle ride-hailing

Elijah Felice Rosales - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Grab Philippines has bought out motorcycle taxi service provider MOVE IT in a transaction that seeks to expand the rider fleet of the acquired party.

Grab Philippines secured regulatory approval to purchase MOVE IT’s operations, making the motorcycle taxi app its independent subsidiary.

Ronald Roda, senior director for strategy and operations Ronald Roda at Grab Philippines, said the buyout allows Grab to expand its presence in the dynamic market for ride-hailing services here.

However, Grab has no intent yet to go all out in the motorcycle taxi segment, even as its acquisition MOVE IT claims to be number three in the competition.

“That is a side benefit, but that is not the intent of the acquisition. For Grab, it is really because we believe that anything in the ride-hailing for us is something that ultimately we need to be in,” Roda said.

Roda said that the two apps would operate separately for the meantime, as integrating them requires government approval.

“I think that any integration between the two apps is something that needs to be discussed with the government,” Roda said.

According to Roda, the acquisition no longer has to go through the regulatory procedure of the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) as the transaction amounts to less than P1 billion.

Grab executives said they are restricted from revealing the exact amount.

Roda feels confident that the acquisition would benefit commuters who have to find as many sources of transport to travel around Metro Manila.

Under the Grab management, MOVE IT would first act on expanding its rider fleet to maximize its allowable capacity of 7,000 from roughly 1,000 riders.

Grab intends to widen MOVE IT’s fleet and hire at least 6,000 riders within the next three months.

“There is a lot of underserved demand for motorcycle taxis. We believe that just by ramping up the driver fleet and basic awareness, demand will come. There is a lot out there,” Roda added.

MOVE IT will remain under the leadership of its chairman Francis Juan, according to Grab.


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