This new M’sian e-hailing biz is changing the game for drivers with its subscription model

MyRide is a Malaysian e-hailing startup with a subscription model to benefit drivers. It now has over 1,000 drivers in major cities.

This new M’sian e-hailing biz is changing the game for drivers with its subscription model

Hailing a ride in Malaysia can be a gamble. Surge pricing during peak hours? Long waits while the app endlessly searches for drivers?

MyRide, a new homegrown e-hailing app, promises to be the answer to our woes.

But can this local challenger compete with established giants like Grab and the budget-friendly inDrive?

Steering towards driver benefits

Azleen Othman, CEO and founder of MyRide, comes from a background in banking and the corporate world. It’s a surprising leap, but one that Azleen believes gives her a strategic edge.

Her experience influences her approach to the e-hailing business in structured, high-stakes environments.

“We have a USP for drivers. Our subscription plan is a non-commission-based model, which allows drivers to earn higher profits,” she explained.

In the ongoing fare wars between e-hailing giants, MyRide offers a significant advantage to its drivers: higher revenue. 

This is due to their subscription plan for drivers which is a stark contrast to the commission-based model most e-hailing apps use.

MyRide currently has four different subscription plans—three days (RM10), seven days (RM20), 14 days (RM55), and 30 days (RM110).

Image Credit: MyRide

Let’s say you’re a driver who makes RM200 a day. Under the traditional commission system, you might lose 20% of that to fees, which comes out to RM40. Over a month, that adds up to a whopping RM1,200. Talk about a dent in your wallet.

However, with MyRide, there are no commissions. You buy a monthly subscription plan for just RM110, and that’s it. You keep 90% of your earnings. So, if you make RM200 a day for the whole month, that’s RM6,000 that goes straight into your pocket. MyRide only takes the RM110 subscription fee.

This is a compelling selling point for drivers who are often caught in the crossfire of fluctuating fares as it gives them more control over their income. 

MyRide’s model promises more stability and better earnings, which could attract drivers looking for a more reliable income.

Additionally, MyRide has diversified its revenue streams. Beyond just ride fares, they’ve tapped into car advertising and partnerships with telco companies to sell data packages to both drivers and passengers. 

This multifaceted approach could provide a more sustainable business model for MyRide itself in the long run.

Plus, they also dangle a rewards programme with an upcoming “giant company collaboration,” which they will announce soon. However, she did not mention the giant company specifically.

Standing out from the crowd

MyRide emphasises its local roots, banking on Malaysians supporting homegrown businesses. 

Azleen is convinced that Malaysians are eager to support homegrown brands rather than sticking with a single monopoly brand for a long time. 

This local focus could be a significant draw, but it remains to be seen if it’s enough to sway loyal customers of other established brands.

One of MyRide’s standout features for users is the Bid & Ride function, which allows passengers and drivers to negotiate fares, similar to what inDrive does. 

“MyRide runs on a hybrid system (2-in-1) system which gives the opportunity to passengers and drivers to negotiate their desired fares. We have seen good responses so far on Bid & Ride since the launch,” shared the founder. 

This could help both parties, though it raises questions about predictability and consistency compared to other e-hailings’ fixed fares or approximate pricing.

Image Credit: MyRide

Safety and security

Safety has long been a significant concern in the e-hailing industry. MyRide prioritises safety with an emergency icon connected to a 24/7 helpline and local emergency services in both driver and passenger apps. 

They also have a tracking system that records car movements for up to three months. Future updates will include AI facial recognition and voice recording, promising even greater security, said Azleen.

Although it sounds good on paper, with great safety features comes great responsibility. MyRide will need to be transparent about user privacy policies in order to have the trust of users.

This is particularly relevant given recent criticisms of inDrive’s handling of passenger complaints, where a passenger was forcefully removed from a vehicle after the driver was notified of a complaint during the ride.

Cash only (for now)

As of now, MyRide is a cash-only zone. While this might cater to those who prefer traditional methods, it seems a bit behind the times compared to Grab, AirAsia Ride, and inDrive’s seamless cashless transactions. 

Integration with e-wallets like Touch & Go is a must-have these days, and thankfully, MyRide shared that this should be coming to their app by July’s end.

Besides, MyRide said by partnering with Touch & Go under the Go Rewards programme, extensive rewards will be offered to their passengers.

“On top of that, we will explore more opportunities with SMEs and local brands to provide vouchers and rewards to add up to our reward programmes,” she said.

Challenges and future plans

Despite its innovative features, MyRide faces considerable challenges. The biggest hurdle is gaining the trust of drivers and educating them on accepting job orders. 

Retaining users in a market saturated with established players is another significant obstacle. 

Image Credit: MyRide

However, Azleen is optimistic. “We always believe Malaysians will support a local brand. All we need to do is focus on our USP and retain drivers and passengers with our long-term marketing plans.”

MyRide currently has 6,000 registered drivers, with over 1,000 active drivers covering major cities. They’ve reached 13,000 passenger downloads and expect these numbers to grow with upcoming partnerships and promotions. 

“For Sabah and Sarawak, we are waiting for our operating licence from the Commercial Vehicle Licencing Board (LPKP) and expect to be ready by August,” said Azleen.

Looking to the future, MyRide has ambitious plans. They aim to expand into the Southeast Asian market within five years and aspire to become a unicorn company. Their vision includes evolving into a super app offering services like food delivery, parcel services, drone delivery, and even an electric taxi fleet.

As someone who frequently uses e-hailing services, I can appreciate MyRide’s efforts to shake up the market. Their focus on local culture and driver-centric policies is refreshing. 

However, the question remains: Can they truly compete with the likes of Grab, AirAsia Ride, and inDrive? Only time will tell. For now, MyRide offers a promising alternative, but they’ll need to keep innovating and proving their value to win over both drivers and passengers.

In a market as dynamic as e-hailing, the journey is just as important as the destination. And for MyRide, the ride has only just begun.

You can learn more about MyRide here. Read other articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups here.

Featured Image Credit: MyRide