Grab, Uber – and now Jugnoo

Founder Samar Singla (left) and Co-Founder Chinmay Agarwal (right)

Obbana Rajah

Starting May, a new ride-hailing app is about to enter the market of Singapore – Jugnoo.

With a name that means ‘firefly’, this ride-hailing firm comes from India. They have the third largest market share in Indian markets and focus on profitability rather than amassing a bigger piece of the market.

We spoke to their CEO, Samar Singla, who explained what they are all about.

They bring a new reverse-bidding pricing system that gives drivers and riders more control over the price of rides.

When a rider makes a booking, drivers in the vicinity will be able to bid for the ride.

The drivers can choose to offer riders three prices: Jugnoo’s suggested price; a price 10 per cent higher; and a price 10 per cent lower. Alternatively, they can also offer an amount of their choosing.

Riders will then have the ability to choose between bids offered by drivers, depending on the driver’s rating, bid price and how long they will have to wait for the ride.

Singla said that while this system might take about 10 seconds longer than the process one goes through when using an alternative app, it is also a test to see if people would rather the quickest ride, or one that allows them the most price control.

When asked if Jugnoo was going to follow in Grab’s footsteps and offer a rewards system that sees riders sticking with the app just to use up their remaining rewards points, Singla said, “We’re not going to burn money by offering a rewards system. We have a simpler model and are not changing our strategy”.

Singla also revealed, “In about three months after the current pilot, we plan on doing an Initial Coin Offering to raise capital.

“We want to see if we can build a company that makes drivers and consumers partners, where we can then charge a lower fee. It’ll be a network of people rather than a taxi service, with communication between drivers and riders”.

Singla said that though the app only officially starts on the 1st of May, to date, it already has 500 downloads.

Well, Grab and Uber, it looks like you have your work cut out for you.