Hailo was here? If you ask most Singaporeans about ride-hailing apps in the country and you’ll get told the main two players: Uber and Grab. But two years after entering Singapore, it seems London-based Hailo has given up on its Asian expansion, local media report according to Mashable.
In Singapore Hailo operated together with taxi company SMRT, providing its app for the latter’s cabs. SMRT’s fleet is far smaller than the dominant ComfortDelGro company though, which has around half of the country’s entire taxifleet. Hailo is the second ride-hailing app to pull out of Singapore in a week. The rest of the cabs on the island are operated by smaller players — of which SMRT is one — so it’s hardly surprising that an app dedicated to booking just one company’s cabs didn’t get much visibility.
Additionally, with both taxis and regular cars on competitors like Grab and Uber, Hailo’s limited reach in Singapore would make it far less attractive for a user to download.
When Hailo pulled out of North America in 2014 — also two years after it first launched in the U.S. — it said it was looking to Europe and Asia for expansion, after exhausting itself trying to tussle with more entrenched players like Uber and Lyft in the U.S.
Now, it’s focusing its ambitions on Europe instead.
Hailo was recently taken over by the similar app My Taxi, which was bought by German automotive giant Daimler two years ago.
The firm isn’t the first taxi app to have given up in Singapore. Brazil-based Easy Taxi also pulled out after roughly two years of competing, and told local papers that it was changing its mind on Asia — instead choosing to focus on Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.