Scoring a lift has just become easier with crowd sourcing startup RideSurfing.
Based in the Sydney Fishburners’ space, RideSurfing launched just a few months ago and is just starting to elbow a place in the Sydney transport scene which is already being shaken up by Uber, ingogo, and GoCatch.
But RideSurfing is a little different. Think Uber crossed with AirBNB or AirTasker.
Co-founder Manutea Dupont said the idea came to him when he discovered how difficult it can be to get around Sydney. Unlike major European cities, including Paris, the harbour city is without a metro system.
The app works by matching riders up with drivers who can give them a lift to where they need to go – making getting from A to B a little simpler and cheaper.
The drivers aren’t employees but have been interviewed and trained by RideSurfing, passed a background check and have the car regularly serviced.
“We’ve met with several hundred drivers,” Dupont said.
“We now have a few dozen drivers that are available at any one time.”
Drivers get paid for their services by donations. A rider is recommended an amount by the app but gets to decide what they wish to pay.
“We are a donation based community,” Dupont said.
“As a rider you can donate what ever you feel is appropriate.”
While the company is still in its proof of concept phase it hasn’t been taking a fee. But that will change shortly.
“We get a fee from someone using the service,” Dupont said, adding it will be a “fixed fee”.
“Right now it is zero but very soon we will turned on, it will be a fixed amount, a few dollars.”
Dupont said the startup attracted a few investors, including German-based Rocket Internet, during its seed round.
“Right now we’re at the launch stage and are really focussed on growth,” he said.
RideSurfing launched its IoS version about a month ago and the Android app is due to be released in a couple of weeks.