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Ride-hailing app Ryde to offer P2P courier service RydeSEND on Sept 3

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It enables users to have small items - documents, parcels, flowers or even properly packed meals - delivered to a destination within 60 minutes.

SINGAPORE-BASED ride-hailing company Ryde Technologies on Wednesday unveiled a peer-to-peer, on-demand courier service named RydeSEND.

It enables users to have small items - documents, parcels, flowers or even properly packed meals - delivered to a destination within 60 minutes. Users will be matched with a nearby driver upon booking, in a manner similar to when they book a ride via the Ryde app to get to a destination. Both the sender and receiver can track the delivery transit in real-time, said Ryde.

Ryde is believed to be the only ridehailing app in Singapore to offer such a service. GrabExpress - a similar service run by Singapore-based ride-hailing app Grab - is available in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines, but not in Singapore. The Business Times understands that Grab has no plans to roll out GrabExpress in Singapore.

RydeSEND will be rolled out here on Sept 3. When it launches, it will compete against other on-demand courier services including Lalamove, GoGoVan and CarPal.

Ryde said that it has, on its ride-hailing platform, over 60,000 drivers whom it could also tap for RydeSEND jobs.

Terence Zou, founder and chief of Ryde Technologies, said: "There is synergy, as we are tapping the same supply."

Charges will be based on RydeX's - Ryde's private-hire ride-hailing service - car fares, but come with an additional surcharge of S$6. For example, it will cost S$15.70 to send a package from One Raffles Quay to ION Orchard during off-peak hours. Similar to RydeX, RydeSEND's charges will fluctuate based on demand, and may cost more during peak periods, Mr Zou said.

Ryde also aims to expand its peer-to-peer network with motorcyclists; it hopes to onboard 20,000 motorcyclists for RydeSEND by the fourth quarter of 2018. A motorcycle delivery will cost 20 to 30 per cent cheaper than a car delivery, but the items that can be carried will be smaller.

Existing Ryde drivers can take RydeSEND courier jobs by putting down a S$100 refundable deposit via the Ryde Driver app. The deposit will act as security against any loss or damage to items during delivery, said Ryde.

When motorcycles are added to RydeSEND's network, the prices of delivering small items would be expected to drop by another 30 per cent, Ryde noted.

Mr Zou said: "Peer-to-peer delivery solves the first and last mile problem of a traditional service hub by providing an alternative that is direct, faster and cheaper. RydeSEND provides consumers an easy way to send small items quickly and easily at any time with a few taps on the Ryde app."

Ryde was started in 2015 as a car-pooling service. It launched RydeX in May this year, following Grab's acquisition of Uber's South-east Asian operations in March. Other ride-hailing apps that have launched here since Uber's exit include TADA - by Singapore-based startup MVL Foundation, and India's Jugnoo, which lets drivers bid a price for rides.