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‘RideLink is to automobiles what Airbnb is to homes’ - we chat with the Founders

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by Startacus Admin

RideLink

Last October we (Startacus that is) shared our love for RideLink a “peer-to-peer car rental marketplace” in our much coveted weekly startup of the week feature. RideLink seemed to be yet another great example of the potential of the shared economy - people using RideLink could rent their car to other people - simples.

With over half a year done and dusted, we thought it only right to move things up a gear and find out more about the RideLink journey over the last 7 months.

Good timing - RideLink are currently in the midst of raising capital via Crowdfunding platform Seedrs, and with half their £1 million target already in the bag, we chatted to founders, Alexander Stevenson and Robert Bruce to find out more...

So, What does RideLink do?

RideLink is to automobiles what Airbnb is to homes. We allow individual car owners to rent their vehicle directly to others when they aren't using it. Our aim is to give owners access to an easy way to earn money during times when their car would otherwise be sitting parked, and to give renters a fantastic selection of great vehicles, conveniently located near their home or work. Each rental is fully insured, and includes roadside assistance, giving both owners and renters peace of mind. We believe it’s an intelligent and sustainable mobility alternative to exclusive individual car ownership and the traditional rental car industry.

RideLink

What have you been up to since we featured you in Startacus last time?

We’ve launched our global site so now users can set up their preferred language which sets us up to scale globally. We have grown our community to over 21,000 users across the UK, Spain and Germany.  We have increased the data car owners see about potential renters and refined the request process to remove friction and increase the positive response rate for renters. We have also launched an equity crowdfunding round on Seedrs.

Why are you crowdfunding?

We get a lot of requests from our community to invest in RideLink, but it’s difficult to allow individuals with small sums of money to invest alongside institutional investors. There is also a risk of making the cap table too crowded, which could make it harder to raise funds in the future. We loved the idea in principal but needed to address these concerns.

We found that Seedrs use of a nominee to group smaller investors into a single cap table entry, and with the combined target large enough to be worth doing, we decided to launch this crowdfunding campaign. We're happy to give both our community and the wider public the opportunity to support and own part of RideLink and help build the future of transportation.

RideLink


What will you use the equity for?

We plan to use the proceeds from Seedrs to continue to improve the platform and continue to grow and serve our community by:

  • Develop new features, and make our platform better; we aim to continue to simplify and automate the rental experience, adding functionality to our mobile apps, and continuing to expand the abilities of our web platform.RideLink Crowdfunding Seedrs

  • Fund growth and customer acquisition. Since our offering for both renters and owners with scale, this growth will help us continue to offer a fantastic service for owners and renters alike.

What substantial advantages does RideLink have over both traditional car rental, as well as traditional car sharing?

When compared to car rental, in our view the key advantages of our offering include:

No fixed hours. Renters are free to pick up after work, or return Sundays, or whenever is mutually convenient.

Less traveling to find a vehicle. With thousands of vehicles throughout cities, we can have vehicles much closer than even the largest rental car companies, who are limited by the number of rental lots. Many of our owners even offer delivery!

Better selection. By pulling from the set of cars real people actually buy, instead of needing to buy large numbers of standardised fleet vehicles, we offer a greater diversity and range of makes and models than any rental agency.

Scattr

When compared to car sharing:

We believe we have a cost advantage, with no need to buy vehicles, maintain a distributed fleet, and arrange parking. All these costs are sunk costs for our owners, and so our fleet is self maintaining in this way.

Better pricing for renters, with no need to monetize by the minute. With the high costs of maintaining their fleet, traditional car sharing services typically require both a monthly or annual subscription fee, as well as charging drivers by the minute or hour. Not so on RideLink: RideLink has no fee to join, and offers simple, daily pricing.

What wider trend do you see affecting your business over the next 5 years?

The entire auto industry is facing into the largest change in living memory with autonomous cars. The continuous improvement and the likely beginning of the shift towards autonomous vehicles on public roads will have a drastic impact on the way we use vehicles. This will make carsharing ever more attractive, eliminating some of the logistic friction of always having vehicles exactly where and when they are needed. With superior driving abilities, journey times will shorten, car density on the roads will be able to increase and the need for parking will likely decrease, (as we won’t need parking spaces for the 96% of cars that are not in use at any point in time – they can simply drive on to pick up their next passenger).

Learn more on how to become a RideLink shareholder on Seedrs and cheers for the chat Alex and Robert.


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Published on: 20th April 2017

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