Lompang is a Singapore based app and service that lets people to hitch a ride on private scooters. The app was launched in December last year by Erfi Azhar and Aaron Fu.
Ride-sharing services for cars have taken off in a big way in the last few years with Uber leading the pack. Last week, ride-sharing app Lyft raised $250 Million from Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, Coatue and Third Point with existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund and Mayfield taking part. In Asia, where in many cities motorbikes outnumber cars, ride-sharing on scooters and motorbikes is a viable option to get around.
“For us, it has always been about filling empty seats and connecting like-minded people who just want to help each other out,” says Aaron. “Inspiration for this idea came from standing at a cab stand for almost an hour, watching cars and motorcycles go by with empty seats, and thinking, ‘How brilliant would it be if one could just jump onto one of those seats?’ and then of course wondering ‘What’s really stopping this?’. We held a pre-launch party on Club Street in December last year, where the street was blocked off and it was just our scooters lining the roads. It was a stunning spectacle and we’ve been very slowly ramping up our public beta period since then.”
To ensure a good balance of passengers and empty seats, the team has been careful to moderate both ends of the platform. They usually release about 30 – 50 user accounts each week, and are into hundreds of users currently. They charge riders a flat S$1 platform usage fee after each successful match. The app is currently available on iOS. While they are bootstrapped now, they are currently looking for angel investors to gain access to capital for expansion and scale.
The team says they have been working with the authorities to ensure the smooth roll-out of this service. To discourage profiteering, as private scooter owners are not meant to ferry riders, the team claims to meet with and interview each one of their riders personally to be sure that they are either employed or are in school. “We make it absolutely clear that we are a community helping each other out and are not to be used as a source of income,” adds Aaron.
The team just started testing the app in Yangon, Myanmar and will test the app in Phnom Penh, Cambodia later this month. Their tagline ‘Changing the way Asia gets around, one Lompang at a time’ highlights the team’s ambitions for taking the service to other cities in Asia. The team shares that they are currently looking for partners to expand the service into other cities in Asia.