Laos Gets Its Own Ride-Hailing Service
Oct 04, 2019

Cambodia-based tech startup Meal Temple Group in partnership with Vientiane-founded KiwiPay has launched a new ride-hailing service in Laos.

The companies jointly launched the portal on the Internet and for Android and iOS devices, which connects to taxis, tuk-tuks, and samlors (three-wheeled bikes) for the first time in the country, Maxime Rosburger, founder and CEO of Meal Temple Group, said.

Meal Temple Group was founded in Phnom Penh as an online delivery and logistics service in 2013 and since has raised substantial seed money from Australian and European investors and also invested in an on-demand food and grocery delivery startup in Myanmar.

KiwiPay belongs to KiwiPay Group Co Ltd., established in 2016 by French, Belgian and Laotian entrepreneurs, in Vientiane, Laos as a digital payment service provider.

Launching the service came after Meal Temple Group expanded its food-delivery services from Cambodia to Laos and seeks to develop a meal-delivery app business in the country, with more than 100 taxis already on the platform and tens of tuk-tuk drivers being trained for joining the service.

“We have chosen to launch DriveUp in Laos first because the market is currently underserved. We hope to be able to provide more jobs to thousands of drivers in Laos before the end of the year,” he said.

However, payments will so far remain traditional until the country is ready for electronic payments, he noted, although there are plans to add more payment options in the future, including international credit cards and Alipay, among others, particularly for foreign visitors.

That way, Meal Temple is looking to capitalize on Laos’ burgeoning tourism industry, which sees more than five million tourists yearly and is expected to double in the next ten years to contribute by more than 15 per cent to the country’s GDP.