With just 4,000 bicycles, the bike-sharing scene in Singapore was looking quite bleak after the exit of companies such as oBike, ofo and Mobike. But that’s all in the past now with what’s being considered as a major boost to the bike-sharing space in the city-state.
Earlier in April, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) gave a green signal to Anywheel to bring in another 10,000 bicycles on Singapore’s roads. Auto Futures caught up with Rui Jie Seet, General Manager at Anywheel, to find out more about the company.
“Anywheel is a micro-mobility service provider, which focuses on eco-friendliness and carbon reduction,” says Seet.
“Anywheel is the brainchild of our founder and CEO, Htay Aung, who was inspired to provide an alternative mode of transport to reduce traffic congestion through micro-mobility while reducing carbon emission when he was studying in Sydney.”
Overcoming the Market Challenges
In Singapore, mobility players from across the spectrum are looking to solve the problem of urban mobility. Despite having one of the best public transport systems in the world, there was a clear need for first and last mile connectivity. That’s where micro-mobility came into the picture.
But it hasn’t been easy for companies such as Anywheels. According to Seet: “The micro-mobility scene in Singapore is currently in the midst of recovery, especially with the ban of e-scooters in Singapore. Thus, we hope to be able to work with the local authorities in an attempt to regain the trust of the public through conscious efforts in educating micro-mobility etiquette as well as providing reliable service.”
“One of the problems that Anywheel is attempting to solve is the first and last mile travel for Singaporeans who utilizes public transport daily. Although Singapore’s public transport is considered one of the best in the world, there are still gaps which are meant to be filled, especially around new housing estates which has yet to have ample transport options.”
Competition and Differentiation
Recent developments in Singapore’s mobility space made it the perfect time for Anywheel to up their game in the country.
For starters, Uber exited from the Singapore market in March last year, leaving a piece of the pie up for grabs. Moreover, its main competitors exited the bike-sharing space leaving a vacuum.
“Our main competitors are other micro-mobility device operators, both in Singapore as well as regionally,” says Seet.
“Our main differentiation between our competitors would be that we have more than one option of micro-mobility devices for our users to choose from. We also pride ourselves in generic growth in our fleet size to reduce the risk of oversupply.”
“Do keep a lookout for us!”
When asked if Anywheel has any further expectations from the government in the areas of infrastructure, policy or regulation to protect the micro-mobility space, Seet said that the government is already doing its bit.
“I don’t think the word here should be expectations as I believe the government has already done precise considerations on their infrastructure, policy and regulations. However, we do hope that it is in the government’s plan to continue creating more cycling paths in Singapore.”
Seet offered up this outlook for the next couple of years and the company’s plans moving forward.
“I do see potential in both Singapore’s and Asia’s micro-mobility market, but there is still work that needs to be done for us to connect with the public and ensure their safety and feasibility of them using micro-mobility devices.”
“We are currently operating in Singapore and Malaysia and have plans to operate in other Asia-pacific countries in 2020, so do keep a lookout for us!”