Branded TADA vehicles outside headquarters in Singapore. Photo courtesy of MLV.
HCM City is the third Southeast Asian market that the firm is entering after Singapore and Cambodia.
Instead of billing commissions from drivers like other major players Grab and Go-Viet, the app aims to profit off advertising as well as fees from B2B (business to business) partners that participate in their ecosystem.
This ecosystem will operate on blockchain technology to store records such as payments and vehicle maintenance, and will engage transport-related companies such as traditional taxis, insurance, repair services, and car dealers.
Kay Woo, the South Korean founder of MLV, said that among its current partners are Lotte Rental, a rental company of cars and equipment belonging to South Korean conglomerate Lotte Group, local insurance provider PTI and local taxi firm Vinataxi.
The app will also not offer promotions like its rivals.
"They throw promotions everyday but this won’t last forever, and prices will eventually go up. We focus on stability, and without commission our prices will be lower."
The MLV founder revealed that over 2,000 drivers had signed up with the company. After HCMC, the firm plans to expand the app to Hanoi and Da Nang.
TADA plans to get 25,000 drivers to register this year but has no plans to join the motorcycle segment in the near future.
Currently, MVL is registered as a technology company in Vietnam. Operations manager Peter Nguyen explained that because it does not charge drivers, it is only a technological solution. However, the company is willing to comply with transport tax and regulatory guidelines should they apply, he said.
TADA, which means "let's ride" in South Korean, opened in Cambodia just last month, and in Singapore in July 2018.
MVL Technology Co., Ltd, formerly known as MVL Foundation Pte. Ltd, was founded in March 2018 in Singapore by Kay Woo.
It aims to connect different sectors in the car industry.
TADA has over 25,000 registered drivers and made more than 970,000 trips in the last 6 months.
Vietnam’s ride-hailing market has seen new entrants after Uber’s departure early this year, including Vietnamese firm FastGo, GoViet - a subsidiary of Indonesia’s Go-Jek, Aber, Be Group, and the latest, TADA.
Grab, which counts Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing and Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp among its backers, had 175,000 drivers and bikers in Vietnam as of last September and is the most prominent player in Vietnam after it pushed out Uber, according to Reuters.
Rival GoJek entered Vietnam last August, eyeing to grab a share of the fast-growing market. Vietnam has 95 million people, most of whom use smartphones.
A number of local taxi companies in Vietnam have come together to compete against ride-hailing firms, Grab has been in a legal battle for more than a year with local taxi firm Vinasun Corp.