U-Hop, a Filipino-developed transport-sharing service that combines mass transport with the convenience of using technology and apps to book rides, took out the battle for best pitch at the Tech in Asia Jakarta 2015.
With a record 4,185 attendees, the fourth annual Tech in Asia Jakarta conference was hailed as a success for the technology industry in Indonesia. The event aims to give start-up technology companies assistance by providing access to investors, corporates, incubators and the media, as well as a forum in which they can pitch their ideas and form and cement business relationships.
This was the backdrop as U-Hop took to the main stage in front of a capacity crowd to pitch its idea to the distinguished panel of three judges, namely Michael Lints, venture partner at Golden Gate Ventures, Stefan Jung, managing partner at Venturra Capital, and Teddy Himler, vice president at SoftBank China & India Holdings. The judge’s decision to award the US$10,000 prize to U-Hop was unanimous.
Mr Himler said U-Hop had only been operating in the Philippines for four months yet had already acquired 550,000 passengers. He said the start-up had found a need in the marketplace and was a “great acquisition prospect with a … solid business model.”
U-Hop has a number of similarities to popular app-based transportation services like Uber that operate throughout Southeast Asia, including in Indonesia, but provides shuttle services – including for commuting to and from work – that cater to up to seven people per ride. Users can pay for one-way trips, or make savings with return, weekly or even monthly payments that allow unlimited use.
Jotinder Dhillon, a consultant with leading executive recruitment company Monroe Consulting Group Indonesia, said such an application could provide an excellent way of reducing Jakarta’s notoriously congested traffic if users shared transport rather than driving their own vehicles. U-Hop was a more cost-effective alternate for those who could not afford premiere transport services such as Uber, she said.
The recruitment consultant from Monroe’s specialised Technology Division said the Tech in Asia Jakarta conference had set a number of records for attendance, and had allowed numerous new and exciting Indonesian entrepreneurs or start-ups the opportunity to pitch their services.
Jotinder said the conference was yet another way Monroe executive recruitment consultants stayed on top of the recruitment field, specifically by keeping up with the latest trends and developments in the technology industry in Indonesia. “This is how we are best able to service our corporate clients in this sector,” she said. “If any client needs a particular job that needs to be filled as quickly as possible, Monroe is able to help.”
Monroe Consulting Group has operations in Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, China, Chile and Mexico.