Micab ties up with PLDT, eyes VisMin expansion

By Jose Santino S. Bunachita |June 20,2018 - 09:56 PM

CEBU startup Micab Systems Corp. is gearing up for their expansion in other key cities in the country to roll-out their taxi-hailing mobile application.

Next month, they are on track to establish the app in Iloilo and within the next quarter, they hope to already operate in Cagayan de Oro, Davao, and Bacolod, said Micab CEO Eddie Ybañez.

In order to ensure their smooth expansion, Micab formalized its partnership with PLDT SME Nation through a contract signing yesterday, June 20.

“When we approached PLDT, we told them we have unique requirements in terms of the price and the service and data. With Micab, the goal really is as much as possible, we don’t offer booking fees and surges prices,” Ybañez said in a press conference yesterday.

He added that it was important for the company to find a provider that will help them provide cheap rates for their taxi operators so it won’t also be burdensome on their part.

PLDT and Micab have been partners for over two years already.

But it was only recently when they formalized the terms and specifics of their partnership. This followed the aggressive scaling up of Micab last January when they launched in Manila and Baguio.

PLDT is Micab’s provider of mobile data which the drivers use for their tablets to enable them to accept bookings from passengers.

Ybañez said PLDT also helped them tie-up with brands like Huawei and Blackberry which assisted them in developing hardware and software, respectively, for the tablets that they provide to their taxi drivers.

In order to be part of Micab’s fleet of taxis, operators will have to pay a monthly fee of P600 per unit. This would include a tablet which exclusively houses the Micab app only, and a 2 GB mobile data allocation per month.

“With the advent of smartphones, the business model has really changed a lot,especially with Grab, Uber,and now taxis should also adopt to this technology. We are pleased to partner with Micab. It’s a very nice solution to our taxi operators,” said Jimmy Chua,assistant vice president of PLDT SME Nation.

Currently, around 6,000 taxis in Manila, Cebu, and Baguio are already running with the Micab system.

With their upcoming expansion plans, Ybañez said they target to have a total of 15,000 taxis under Micab all over the country.

They have also set a major target to reach 50,000 taxi units within 2019.

Meanwhile, Kenneth Baylosis, chief technology officer of Micab Systems Corp., said they hope to inspire other startups in Cebu to try and scale up their businesses.

Ybañez and Baylosis both developed the Micab app in 2012 during the Startup Weekend Cebu, long before giant players like Grab and Uber entered the Philippine market.

But it was only this year when they decided to aggressively scale up their business model. Unlike other similar apps, Micab doesn’t charge booking fees or surge fees to its passengers, which means they only pay what is reflected in the taxi meter.

Instead, the company earns through advertisements shown inside the taxis.

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