Borneo Rides Sdn. Bhd.

East Asia and Pacific
IB topics
Last update

Borneo Rides was established in 2016 as an e-hailing company, right after the exit of Uber from the Malaysian market. Between 2016 and 2018, the company developed an application so that it could offer taxi services in Kota Kinabalu, competing with Grab since January 2019. This business is a mainstream business.

Inclusive Business Model

During the inclusive business workshop held by SME Corp. in October 2019, the company launched the idea of adding another business line for car leasing to B40 families. This would expand the Borneo Rides business to sub-urban and rural areas in the interior of Sabah. This new business line (BORRIDE) could qualify as IB. Currently, drivers in rural areas are not eligible to officially offer taxi services, as that would require having new cars. So, they resort to illegal taxi or ‘taxi sapu’. The intent is for BORRIDE to convert these illegal ‘taxi sapu’ drivers to legitimate e-hailing drivers. The new business line would offer an “car and career” opportunity to these drivers. Borneo Rides would buy new cars through the company and then lease them to rural and semi-urban drivers through a bank loan, with a down payment but no commission to the company. When the installments are fully paid, the driver will own the car.  With that, the drivers will have a job as well as a new car for their job and their own use. Initially, the company will focus on the Kota Marudu, Kota Belud, Beaufort and Sipitang regions of Sabah with relatively large young working population and big transport needs.


The company intends to start with 300 drivers, and to scale-up to 500 by 2023 and 800 by 2025. All drivers would be in the B40 group. The company will also proactively encourage women as taxi drivers, and engage in helping the drivers having access to institutionalized businesses (e.g. schools, business drivers, public services). Illegal taxi sapu driver earn about RM80 to RM130 a day. By becoming a legal BORRIDE e-hailing driver, they can potentially earn about 15-20 per cent more (i.e. RM100 to RM150 a day). That makes about MYR 2000-3000 a month, which is enough to pay for the car installment.  In addition, they will have a legitimate PSV license, which BORRIDE will subsidize.