Ride-hailing app TADA has embarked on a Cambodian first - to supply electric vehicles in the shape of the widely used tuktuk for the Southeast Asian market.
TADA, which means "let's ride" in Korean, is based in Singapore and South Korea and is run as MVLLABS Pte Ltd (MVL). It is operated in the Kingdom of Cambodia as MVL TADA Cambodia Co Ltd (TADA).
According to a company statement, the latest funding aims to set its sights on distribution and sales of an estimated 10,000 e-tuktuks by the end of 2021.
It was announced that the blockchain-based zero-commission ride-hailing service has secured US$5 million in fresh funding led by Korea Central Co Ltd, the manufacturer and supplier of steering and suspension parts for all types of vehicles that are produced in Korea.
"Over 81,000 drivers and more than 550,000 users utilise our services across Singapore, Vietnam and Cambodia," the statement added.
MVL now plans to manufacture the e-tuktuk together with Korean automobile production plant company Myung-shin, which currently produces electric vehicles for the Southeast Asian (SEA) market.
Kay Woo, chief executive officer of MVL, said, "The biggest advantage of TADA is that there is zero commission platform for drivers. With this unique selling point, we hope to rapidly distribute e-tuktuks to 600,000 platform users and bring heightened mobility innovation to the Southeast Asian market."
The move comes after Cambodia's fastest-growing ride-hailing app launched a dedicated service - named Student - offering high school and college students discounts of at least 20% on standard TADA tuktuk and car fares last month.
TADA's general manager Poly Chim said students have suffered major disruptions to their critical studies during the COVID-19 pandemic and offering them an easier and cheaper way to get back to class was an obvious choice for the company to make.
The ride-hailing app, which was built by regional tech company MVL Foundation and launched in Cambodia in May 2019, was the first zero-commission service, allowing its drivers to keep 100% of their passenger fares.
One of the ways in the company plans to make money is monetising data. It runs on a blockchain system and will gather data on its users, such as driving speeds and traffic records, as well as on vehicle repair histories.
"For instance, traffic information collected during a trip is very useful and valuable to car makers of autonomous driving research companies," added Woo, who stressed that the privacy of data, such as the driver's name for trips, will be "concealed and separated".
The mass vehicle ledger (MVL) ecosystem includes mobility data such as transactions, movements, accidents and maintenance of vehicles. Users interact with MVL's mobility data ecosystem on the blockchain through connected services such as TADA and other upcoming services, said a technology website.