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VCNC Returns to Ride-Hailing Scene with TADA Light Launch

Source: VCNC

In a recent announcement, South Korean ride-hailing service provider VCNC revealed its plan to relaunch its services under TADA Light.

VCNC, a subsidiary of Socar, previously shut down its TADA Basic service due to regulatory challenges.

The new TADA Light will operate under a different model, partnering with or purchasing taxi licenses from existing taxi companies.

The move aligns with the revised Law on the Passenger Vehicle Transportation Business, which requires branded taxi companies to acquire 1% of the total number of or 500 licensed taxi vehicles.

Launched in October 2018, TADA Basic amassed 1.7 million users and operated 1,500 KIA Sedona (Carnival) vehicles in the Seoul metropolitan area in just one and a half years.

However, regulatory changes forced VCNC to cease operations in April. The amended regulations allowed ride-hailing companies to provide services with 11 to 15 seats only at limited pick-up points, such as airports or seaports.

After TADA Basic ceased operations, companies like Kakao T Blue Taxi, Macaron Taxi, and Banban Taxi competed for ride-hailing market share.

As of August, these companies collectively operated about 10,000 branded taxis.

However, customer dissatisfaction remains an issue as taxi drivers selectively accept requests based on the destination, making it difficult for passengers to secure a ride during peak hours.

TADA Basic's popularity was partly due to its AI algorithm-based matching system, which did not involve selective call acceptance.

VCNC holds a patent for this ride-hailing matching technology, which will be used during the beta service phase of TADA Light to aggregate passenger data.

The company plans to expand the number of vehicles in its fleet by the end of the year.

With the launch of TADA Light, the existing TADA Premium service will be rebranded as TADA Plus. TADA Light will offer mid-size cars, while TADA Plus will continue to provide services for E-segment executive cars (large cars).

Currently, TADA Plus operates with a fleet of 250 vehicles.

The revival of VCNC's ride-hailing service, now in compliance with the revised regulations, signals a new era of competition in South Korea's ride-hailing market.