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- Perth carpooling startup ReddyRide has entered an expression of interest phase with equity crowdfunding platform Birchall.
- The app plans to help drivers offset the cost of their morning commute by picking up other passengers along the way.
- Initially set to launch in Perth, founder Sharon Wilkins wants to take the brand national.
Platforms like Uber have massively changed transport in Australia, but one classic mode of ridesharing has remained curiously un-revolutionised: the humble carpool.
Perth startup ReddyRide wants to change that. Currently kicking off a fundraising round on equity crowdfunding platform Birchal, the company intends to launch a mobile app allowing drivers to offset the cost of their commute by picking up other passengers along the way.
Using the app, passengers will be able to input their destination details and find drivers who are headed in the same direction, and book a spare seat in their car. Upon making the booking, the driver and passenger – or passengers – then work out the finer details like pickup and drop-off times and destinations that work for all parties.
Unlike platforms like Uber and Ola, where drivers are using the app as either their main source of income or as a side hustle, ReddyRide drivers use the platform to subsidise a trip they were intending on making anyway.
“What’s so great about ReddyRide is that our drivers are everyday people just like you and me going about their usual business,” said founder Sharon Wilkins.
“ReddyRide is not their first or second job – it is simply a mechanism that allows the driver to offset the costs of their daily commute by picking up fellow commuters along the way. These passengers are contributing to some of the expenses for this journey such as petrol, tolls, parking and wear and tear on the car.”
As with other rideshare platforms, ReddyRide drivers will still have to be registered with an ABN and will have to declare any income.
The company claims its rides will be roughly a quarter of the cost of comparable trips using Uber and Ola.
Wilkins is also quick to hype up the environmental benefits of carpooling. “By picking up just that one passenger once a week, even just doing that small little change can make such a huge difference,” she told Business Insider Australia.
“While saving money is vitally important, our research shows people care more than ever before about their impact on the environment.”
The app is set up to adhere to COVID-19 social distancing protocols, and Wilkins says passenger and driver safety is a priority.
“Our drivers would have to provide police clearances, the car registration [and] their insurance,” Wilkins said. “We’ll also introduce a review system for both driver and passenger, and a female-only driver option.”
ReadyRide intends to launch first in its home city of Perth, with a view to expanding across Australia and – if the interest is there – beyond.
Its equity crowdfunding raise through Birchal – the platform on which women-only Uber rival Shebah broke Australian crowdfunding records – is in its expression of interest phase.
“We’re hoping to raise a certain amount of capital so that we can launch in Perth in February,” Wilkins said. “And then, if it’s successful, we’ll roll it out nationally.”
If you’d like to read more, or become an investor, head over to https://www.birchal.com/company/reddyride