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Is Angkas about to launch a Grab competitor called Angcars?

The motorcycle-taxi company has big plans for this year

Angkas has some pretty ambitious goals. IMAGE FROM MIDJOURNEY

Media reports suggest that the popular motorcycle-taxi service Angkas is about to enter the four-wheeled cab market with a new brand and app called Angcars.

The announcement was apparently made by Angkas CEO George Royeca as part of the company’s recent town hall. During the meeting, he outlined plans, such as Angkas Health and Angkas Padala service features, as well as a revamped AngKash low-cost loan initiative meant to help riders buy and maintain their motorcycles.

Arguably the biggest news was the plan to rival companies like Grab with a new four-wheeled TNVS service called Angcars. Said to include categories like Angcars Economy and Angcars Plus, the service will apparently offer four- and six-seater car options that passengers can book securely through a soon-to-be-launched app, according to a newspaper article. No details on pricing or time frame have been released, but a launch in the first half of this year seems likely.

Do you think Angkas could take the fight to Grab? IMAGE FROM MIDJOURNEY

The ride-hailing market in the Philippines is currently dominated by Grab. Founded as MyTeksi in Malaysia in 2012, it originally arrived in the Philippines as GrabTaxi in 2013 and went on to defeat rival Uber in the race to become the most popular ride-hailing app in the country.

Since then, Grab has worked on turning itself into a super app that provides more than just on-demand transportation. While numerous competitors have tried to take a slice of Grab’s cake, none have really succeeded yet.

Angkas, on the other hand, started its journey in 2015, and quickly made a name for itself as the number one motorcycle-taxi app in the Philippines. Following a period of legal uncertaintynot dissimilar to what Grab, Uber, and other ride-hailing firms experienced in the early daysthe company’s riders and their blue helmets have now become a common sight on the streets of Metro Manila.

With the user base and the technology stack to run a ride-hailing app already in place, its entry into the four-wheeled market will certainly have a good chance of success and see some urgent management meetings take place at competing firms. Let’s see how this one turns out and if the consumer will be the winner in the end. We certainly hope so.

Frank Schuengel

Frank is a German e-commerce executive who loves his wife, a Filipina, so much he decided to base himself in Manila. He has interesting thoughts on Philippine motoring. He writes the aptly named ‘Frankly’ column.