Ex-Citigroup banker Terence Zou started a carpooling app in Singapore to help cut road congestion, pollution and commuting costs. Now he’s in talks to raise money so he can bring that model to another crowded city -- Hong Kong.
Bloomberg News reports that Zou’s Ryde Technologies Pte is in discussions to raise about $7m in new financing to help fend off rival GrabTaxi and prepare to take his app abroad. The discussions come two months after the company raised $1.39m in a seed round from Singaporean investors.
Ryde is trying to capitalize on the sharing economy by matching private-car drivers with commuters on a similar route. Riders pay according to the distance they travel, helping offset the high costs of car ownership and gasoline in cities including Singapore. Ryde wants to expand that model to Hong Kong because it has similar regulations -- and traffic issues -- as Singapore.
“We’re rushing to go to Hong Kong because we’re pretty sure that Hong Kong doesn’t have this service yet,” said Zou, 40, the service’s chief executive officer. He declined to name potential backers.
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