miCab seeks Cebuano support, turns to advertising as revenue stream

LOCAL taxi-hailing app miCab has asked for support from locals, especially as it extends its services not just in taxi dispatching but also as an advertising platform to boost presence of local enterprises in Metro Cebu.

With this direction, miCab founder Eddie Ybañez said the company has deployed LED signs to 25 taxicab to exclusive partner taxi operators, Ken Taxi (20 cabs) and Yoo Taxi (five cab).

The LED signs, placed on top of the taxicabs, will be made available to 200 more units in the next three months, according to Ybañez.

“The tablet and LED signage advertising platforms by miCab offers extra revenue opportunities for taxis and other transport operators. Our advertising feature also helps companies get closer to their intended market,” the miCab founder said.

On Aug. 1, miCab will start to display advertisements on the LED signs. Ybañez said five companies have already signed up: restaurants, government agency, a car dealership, and a mall.

Interested advertisers can advertise their products on miCab-powered taxis at P2,000 per slot per month with 30 ad slots per taxi unit.

miCab seed investor Eric Cuenco said an advertisement with 20 seconds exposure will be displayed every 10 minutes.

“We are also hoping to attract (multinational) BPOs as advertisers,” Ybañez said noting these companies are heavy advertisers in various platforms as they seek to attract more employees. Ads in miCab can be videos or still images.

Aside from outdoor LED signs, miCab also maintains an indoor tablet, where advertisers can avail of an advertisement slot at P50 per month for a 20-second ad, repeated in 10-minute intervals.

Unlike more prominent taxi-hailing apps like Grab Taxi and Easy Taxi, miCab charges lower booking fees at P10, which directly goes to the driver, and not to miCab.

“We are not making money from the public,” said miCab co-founder Kenneth Baylosis. MiCab’s revenue stream is primarily through advertising.

However, as election season draws closer, miCab officials said they will not accept political ads, as per regulations set by Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for public utility vehicles.

Next month, miCab will be giving away paper coupons for fare discounts.

In the next three months, miCab also revealed that the taxi-hailing service will be extended to non-smartphone users through SMS.

Baylosis said the mobile number for SMS bookings will be released by that time and zone codes will be published in the website. The zone codes will be used by the SMS user to identify his or her location, which he or she sends to the driver.

miCab, which was founded in 2012, is available on Android and iOS platforms. It is funded by a foreign company that also maintains an office in Cebu and is also supported by local seed investors.

“We hope that you (Cebuanos) support us. We hope to go international in the future,” Ybanez said.

miCab officials said they are also working on their plans to expand in Iloilo City and partner with a taxi operator.

Competitors Grab Taxi and Easy Taxi originated from Malaysia and Brazil, respectively.

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