Moola – earn as you drive

PETALING JAYA: As the rakyat grapple with rising costs of living and seek supplementary income with the likes of car hailing services like Uber and GrabCar, another start-up is wooing car owners to allow their cars to act as a medium of advertising.

Moola, an advertising company with a disruptive platform that matches drivers with brands to form effective on-vehicle advertising, just went to the market in September, with goals to bring a big wave to the advertising market.

The company is targeting to achieve RM10-RM15 million in revenue within a year. 

“It’s very promising, that’s why our goal is very aggressive…We are quite ambitious, we’re looking at 5% of the advertising spending market,” Moola co-founder John Ong told Sunbiz in an interview.

As a first-of-its-kind in Asia, he said Moola allows drivers to earn while they drive, and brands to advertise outdoors.

Generally, the campaigns last between three to six months, depending on the advertiser. Currently, some 10,000 drivers have registered with Moola. Ong expects the number of registration to hit 100,000 by the end of this year.

“We want to be one of the medium choices for brands and advertisers. We provide another economic solution for advertisers. Of course we connect drivers and advertisers together. We value the engagement of our drivers to the brand,” he said.

While Moola is still new to the advertising industry, Ong noted that the company has drawn interest from some advertisers, the number which he declined to disclose.

“We started approaching clients. Our goal is to get the popular brands which comprise all types of industries, from FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) to automotive, engine oils, sports and events. Anyone who puts out advertisement will be our target customers,” he explained.

Positioned in between conventional and digital advertising, he said, Moola could offer more choices to the advertisers to reach out to the public.

“We’re trying to get those who go digital, but still want something that is conventional (such as to physically see an advertisement), that’s where we stand... right in the middle,” he said.

For each campaign, Ong said a minimum of 10 cars are to be used with an advertising cost starting from RM2,820 per month.

“We hope that more established brands will take up 50 cars and beyond. If they are looking for alternative for drive value and engagement, we’re an option with economical value,” he said.

To be qualified as a driver for the company, one needs to have a valid driver’s licence, clean driving record and own a car in good condition. The selection of drivers will be based on the brand’s needs and target markets.

“We have a system to do profiling and filtering, we have all that in place. We also look at them one-by-one, whether they are suitable for the campaign. Let's say you want drivers below age 25 and it is a male- centric product, then we’ll look for drivers who suit that,” Ong said.

The selected drivers can earn up to RM800 a month, depending on the campaign, but they have to travel an average 30km to 35km a day during daytime in order to hit the campaign target.

Meanwhile, the impression rates are different for different times of the day, whereby daytime (6am to 9pm) and night time (9pm to 12am) are the normal rate, but dusk (12am to 6am) is only calculated at one-third the normal rate.

“It gives some extra money for the drivers. For sure we’re not paying as high as the ride hailing apps, but you get the money while you drive,” Ong said, noting that the removable advertising vinyl films will not damage the cars as they are designed for application on motor vehicles.

Moola’s presence is mainly in the Klang Valley currently, but Ong said the company hopes to expand nationwide over the next six months.