Grab, the Southeast Asian rival to Uber, has launched a trial of its taxi-hailing service in Myanmar, its first expansion to a new country since 2014.
The Singapore-based startup, valued at more than $3bn last September, announced on Tuesday that it was operating a trial of GrabTaxi in Yangon, working with a small group of taxi drivers.
The pilot scheme will be scaled up gradually based on driver and passenger feedback, Grab said. The Yangon trial means that Grab now operates in seven countries in Southeast Asia. Its last new market was Indonesia, where it began operations in 2014.
Cheryl Goh, Grab’s group vice-president for marketing, said:
As a start, we will focus on improving driver service and safety standards for taxis in Yangon. We have deep experience in using data analytics to better match taxi drivers to passengers, and have robust driver screening and training processes to ensure that our driver partners provide a safe and quality service.
Uber, which currently operates in six countries in Southeast Asia, said in a statement on Tuesday that it looked forward to launching a ridesharing service in Myanmar “very soon”.