ride-hailing industry

Grab’s new competitor? inDrive set to launch in the Philippines

Lance Spencer Yu

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Grab’s new competitor? inDrive set to launch in the Philippines

inDrive

inDrive has yet to announce when it will be launching publicly as the company is focusing on driver recruitment and onboarding

MANILA, Philippines – inDrive, one of the largest international ride-hailing companies, will soon be competing with Grab in the Philippines.

The company, which was founded in Russia and is now headquartered in the United States, is now officially recognized as a transport network company by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB). 

inDrive aims to offer users the ability to select their preferred driver once a ride request is confirmed. Passengers will be allowed to select from a list of available drivers, which shows driver rating, vehicle model, and estimated time of arrival.

The company has not yet announced the exact date of its official launch in the Philippines. inDrive also said that it cannot confirm the number of fleets assigned to it yet.

With its launch expected next year, inDrive is poised to introduce more competition in the Philippines’ ride-hailing industry, which remains dominated by Grab. At its peak before the pandemic, Grab had as many as 65,000 vehicles in its fleet.

But right now, a company representative said that inDrive is focusing on driver recruitment and onboarding. Drivers who successfully register will receive a fuel voucher worth $10. They will also be exempted from paying service fees when accepting rides for a certain period.

inDrive will pilot their driver registrations in Bacolod, Baguio, Iloilo City, Cagayan de Oro, and Butuan until December 31. 

Before entering the Philippines, inDrive operated in over 700 cities and 45 countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand in Southeast Asia.

inDrive first filed its application for accreditation on January 27, 2023. On the same day, the LTFRB revealed that two unaccredited “Russian ride-hailing services” – inDrive and Maxim – were operating in the country. Back in January, the LTFRB said that the companies were using Facebook community posts to recruit drivers.

“The very reason why these companies come up is because of probably lack of TNVC servicing units sa mga probinsya (in the provinces),” LTFRB Chairman Teofilo Guadiz III said in January 2023. “But ang solusyon po niyan (the solution is) is not for these companies to operate illegally, but to come in legally, register with us, and we will give them their proper franchise to operate in the province – hindi po ‘yung patago na ginagawa nila (not sneaking around like what they’re doing).” – Rappler.com

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Lance Spencer Yu

Lance Spencer Yu is a multimedia reporter who covers the transportation, tourism, infrastructure, finance, agriculture, and corporate sectors, as well as macroeconomic issues.