Women only ride-sharing service Shebah is closing in on Australia's crowdfunding record

  • Shebah has now raised $2.4 million in crowdfunding, after a mystery investor pumped $1 million into its campaign.
  • The women-only ride-hailing app now needs to raise $200,000 over the next four days in order to beat the crowdfunding record set by Xinja last year.
  • Shebah CEO George McEncroe is confident they’ll do it.

Shebah, a ride-hailing company like Uber, but for women-only, looks like it could break Australia’s $2.6 million crowdfunding record.

The startup announced on Friday that it has landed a $1 million investment from an undisclosed investor on the Birchal crowdfunding website, bringing total investment in the company up to $2.4 million.

All of Shebah’s drivers are women, and all of the passengers are women or children. As a result, Shebah claims that its service is safer than other ride-sharing services like Uber, GoCatch and Didi.

Some 1,352 investors have backed Shebah’s campaign, which ends in four days and has a target of $3 million. Investments range from $100 to $1 million.

Shebah now needs to raise just $200,000 to beat the record set by digital banking startup Xinja last March.

Shebah founder and CEO George McEncroe said she is confident the $3 million target is achievable.

“Given the feedback we’ve received from investors, media, our community and women’s groups from all over the country, I believe we’ll hit $3 million, or come very, very close to it. The response has been overwhelmingly positive and I’m thrilled with where we are at,” said McEnroe, a former ABC breakfast host, in a statement.

“Now that we have bypassed two million, we can really start to make a difference to how we grow and put our plans into action. There is a long list of plans, from technology advancements, to improving the driver onboarding process and expanding internationally, so the focus is on implementing these and putting the right team structure in place to see them through.”

After launching on International Women’s Day in March 2017, Shebah is already available in Melbourne, Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat, Hobart, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Adelaide and Perth, while Darwin will be active soon.

The Australian rideshare industry is worth $290 million and the taxi industry is valued at $6 billion, with the market growing at 14% year-on-year, according to market research firm IBISWorld.

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