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P2P car-sharing startup Moovby aims to get tourism players on board, drives towards nationwide coverage

18 Aug 2020 / 10:04 H.

PETALING JAYA: Peer-to-peer car-sharing platform Moovby wants to work with domestic tourism players to boost its business given that the Covid-19 pandemic has halted visits from international travellers.

Its founder and CEO, Nik Muhammad Amin (pix), said it is in talks with Tourism Malaysia, pending a decision on the partnership.

“We’re working with them to empower small businesses in the tourism industry, from hotel, theme parks and holiday attractions, to offer travel packages including hotel accommodation via bookings on Moovby to boost domestic travel,“ he told SunBiz in an interview.

He said the company, Urban Mobility Asia Sdn Bhd, is already working with a few local travel agents to cross market its services.

Moovby connects vehicle owners with people who need a car. Like Grab, it does not own cars.

Travellers can rent any car they want, whenever they want, from Moovby’s community of local car owners. Car owners earn extra income by sharing their idle cars, which can offset the high cost of ownership while making a positive impact on the environment. The company’s goal is to empower people to car-share everywhere and to help put millions of cars to a better use.

Car rental companies like Hertz, Avis and others are already in this business, with an estimated 5,000 cars serving the Malaysian market.

“The car rental market in Malaysia is worth RM1.2 billion, so the opportunity for the car rental business in Malaysia is huge,“ said Nik Muhammad Amin.

He said the bulk of its customers (50%) are tourists and travellers (international and domestic), while the remaining consists of family and professionals, students and a small portion of e-hailing drivers.

“We’re growing our user base for domestic travellers. In the near future or the next one to two years, domestic travellers/tourists will be our focus until we have a solution for the pandemic,“ Nik Muhammad Amin said.

Moovby is now in eight states in Malaysia and aims to have its footprint nationwide by year-end. It has 100,000 registered users and over 7,000 registered cars on its platform, of which 30-40% are active cars.

Pre-Covid-19, Nik Muhammad Amin said, Moovby raked in almost RM400,000 in gross merchandise value a month from bookings in Malaysia and Indonesia. Due to the movement control order (MCO), bookings fell by 90% but during and after the conditional MCO period, people have started to travel again and bookings are picking up.

“In Malaysia, we can see that bookings (on Moovby) are growing and the trend (of travelling/car rental) is returning, and more regular bookings will be coming in,“ he said, adding that it wants to increase its supply of cars to boost demand, making it easier for users to access the cars near to them.

The car-sharing platform was established in Malaysia in 2017, and was launched in Indonesia in May last year. Indonesia contributes 70% to its revenue, while Malaysia makes up 30%. Moovby is available in four cities in Indonesia and it plans to add eight to 10 cities there this year.

“The Indonesian market is huge. We see that Indonesia will be the X factor for the company to grow. We also have the ambition to grow regionally. We’re strengthening our footing in Malaysia and Indonesia, but at the same time we’re eyeing Singapore and either Vietnam or Thailand by next year,“ said Nik Muhammad Amin.

Meanwhile, Moovy plans to raise US$5 million in its Series A round by year-end to improve its operations in Malaysia and Indonesia, accelerate marketing efforts as well as hiring. It is talking to various investors and venture capitalists from Singapore and Indonesia. Moovby raised US$500,000 in its seed round.

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