PickMe is a Sri Lankan taxi hailing and delivery app developed by Digital Mobility Solutions (Pvt) Ltd. Launching in June 2015,[1][2] the app is available in English, Sinhala and Tamil on the Android and iOS platforms. By December 2015 the company had over 3000 vehicles registered[1], which grew to 8000 by 2021.[3] Currently, PickMe has the vehicle options Tuk, Flex (Small Hatchbacks), Mini (Large Hatchbacks), Car (Sedans), Minivan (Microvans capable of seating six passengers) and Luxury (VIP) cars on their fleet. In the financial year ending in June 2017 6.5 million rides in total had been completed, with 35,000 rides happening daily, and the number of customers stood at around 620,000.[4]

PickMe
TypePrivate
IndustryTechnological Mobility Solutions provider
FoundedMarch 2014
HeadquartersColombo, Sri Lanka
Area served
Colombo and Suburbs
Key people
Zulfer Hassen (CEO), Ajith Gunewardene (Chairman)
ProductsPickMe Taxi Hailing App
ServicesTaxi, vehicles for hire, taxi hailing
Websitepickme.lk

HistoryEdit

A serial entrepreneur counting 16 years of founding and successfully running several technology-based ventures, Jiffry Zulfer is the founding CEO of PickMe. Prior to PickMe, he contributed as CTO and part of the founding management of anything.lk which was re-branded as wow.lk after being acquired by Dialog Axiata PLC due to its increasing success, again as a first of its kind in the e-commerce market. Crediting his talent as a driving force in "technopreneurship" Zulfer was awarded the ICTA Young IT Professional Award (May 2006) and FCCISL Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (April 2004). An avid traveller and ambitious young geek Zulfer felt the need to build a technology in Sri Lanka for hailing taxis similar to those that were successfully revolutionizing the taxi industry around the world.

As a first step, Zulfer approached his fellows in the local ICT space and explored the possibility of developing the technology. He was lucky to know and meet the right people at the right time, for he soon had a skilled young team embarked on the task of developing Sri Lanka's own taxi-hailing app. Once the prototype was ready Zulfer approached Ajit Gunewardene who is a businessman in the country and also is the deputy chairman of John Keells Holdings PLC. who gave him 15 minutes to pitch the idea. Ajit says that 15 minutes later he was sold. Joining Ajit were Ruchi Gunewardene and a few other private investors including Interblocks Ltd., Lanka Orix information Technology Services Ltd., H Capital (PVT) Ltd., MAS Capital (PVT) Ltd. Ajit Gunewardene is now chairman of PickMe.

In September 2015, PickMe raised 150 million rupees in private funding.[5]

YAMU acquisitionEdit

PickMe acquired YAMU, a food and hotel review site, in July 2019. At the time of acquisition YAMU had 325,000 monthly active users and 615,000 monthly pageviews.[6]

COVID-19 ResponseEdit

During the COVID-19 pandemic in Sri Lanka, PickMe utilised several innovations such as displaying the vaccination status of the driver, providing cash incentives for passengers riding to the nearest vaccination centre, contact tracing, and installation of separators and hand sanitization facilities inside tuks.[3] PickMe's Flash delivery service was used by restaurants to deliver over 8200 orders during the pandemic lockdowns.[7]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Illanperuma, Shiran (December 16, 2015). "PickMe up in Sinhala and Tamil". Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. Daily Mirror. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
  2. ^ "IPO galore at CSE: PickMe gears up for IPO". themorning.lk. April 25, 2021. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
  3. ^ a b "PickMe invests Rs. 50 m to keep driver partners and customers safe". Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. Daily FT. September 1, 2021. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
  4. ^ "Startup success PickMe poised for bigger ride". Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. Daily FT. August 28, 2017. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
  5. ^ Hathiramani, Jagdish (September 13, 2015). "Taxi app PickMe rings up Rs. 150 mln in private funding". The Sunday Times Sri Lanka. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
  6. ^ "PickMe acquires food review portal YAMU". themorning.lk. July 31, 2019. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
  7. ^ "How technology is making last-mile delivery easier for Sri Lankan SMEs" (9 February 2021). Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. Daily FT. Retrieved December 5, 2021.