This is a re-listing of the goCarShare campaign, which hit its target on 5 September 2013.
The initial campaign was cancelled by Seedrs inadvertently during its standby period. Seedrs have looked into why this happened, and the issue was a particular automated rule for early termination of a standby period: the rule was intended for an entirely different set of circumstances, but it had been written too broadly and therefore was triggered here. Seedrs has since corrected this issue and apologises for the inconvenience caused to all involved.
Everyday there are an estimated 38 million empty car seats travelling around Britain; Petrol prices have increased 50% in 3 years and public transport prices have reached record highs.
goCarShare is creating a new form of social travel that connects like-minded people, enabling them to share journeys and save money in a fun, sustainable way.
goCarShare is an active participant and pioneer of the Collaborative Consumption movement http://goo.gl/Y2gjo (Collaborative Consumption details how the internet, and specifically social networking sites are facilitating greater utilisation of existing assets and resources).
goCarShare focuses on creating trust between users by leveraging the social graph - users could choose to share car journeys with friends of friends, or users with similar interests, as well as an eBay style rating system which helps users determine who is reliable.
We are also currently evaluating sophisticated ways to validate users.
We intend to change the way people travel in a positive way:
As an approximate example, if I was to travel from London to the Latitude Festival, driving on my own would cost £80, by coach upwards of £40, and by train upwards of £70. If I was to book a seat in someone's car on goCarShare the journey would be approximately £20. If I was to drive and to take three passengers on goCarShare, the real cost of the journey would be approximately £20.
Travelling on your own by car has a significant negative effect on the environment - travel on your own for 100 miles, and you'll typically emit around 30 kg of carbon dioxide. Conversely, if you travel in a full car, according to Defra sources, your carbon emissions will be lower than taking the train.
Average occupancy of cars is pitifully low in the UK 1.6, which falls to 1.2 for commuter journeys. If we can improve this, we would benefit traffic flow exponentially and reduce congestion significantly.
Car sharing would open up travel options to people that weren't previously possible. For example, the Varsity Train between Oxford and Cambridge was disbanded in 1967, taking the coach between Oxford and Cambridge takes approximately three and a half hours, if people car shared they could travel between the cities in just over two hours.
Car sharing also opens up new employment options for people coming from rural locations.
Substantial accomplishments to date
Event and Festival Partnerships
goCarShare has built relationships with over 100 festivals and events. These include Reading and Leeds Festivals where we trialed 'goCarShare Priority Car Parks' last year.
> 15k journeys offered by drivers on the site to date
> 17k messages sent between users
> Monthly page view exceed 150k in peak months
Featured in national press including The Telegraph, The Guardian, MSN, the BBC and many others.
Backed by Telefonica via Wayra - one of 17 companies selected from 3,444,
A&N media battle of the start ups, and
Shortlisted for a TechCrunch Europa award.
Conferences and Events
Example of presentations include: the Digital Advisory Board at the Mayor of London's Office, to the Sustainable Events Conference in Bonn and to Collaborative Consumption Camp in London.
Giles Bailey (ex Head of Marketing Strategy, TFL),
Campbell Murray (Head of Market Development, Intuit), and
Virginie Faucon (Strategy Marketing and Brand, Head of Cover, Telefonica.)
Passengers pay drivers a contribution that is based on the estimated mileage. goCarShare would take a commission of 15% before passing the remainder to the driver after the journey has been completed.
Organisation Car Share
goCarShare would offer tailored 'white label' car share schemes for companies, and detailed reporting, recording carbon saved through car sharing, as well as estimates of employee savings.
The car share schemes would form part of companies' travel plans. Companies over a certain size creating new developments are often required to have a sustainable travel plan. Promoting car sharing could also help the company reduce the cost of leasing parking spaces, parking leasing costs in major cities is often very expensive.
There is a £600 million local sustainable transport fund that is being allocated to councils - we are currently submitting bids for this.
Advertising & Data
goCarShare has unique data about it users - where people are travelling, with whom and when they are returning, as well as social characteristics. This creates an interesting opportunity for advertising. Anonymised data could also be used to predict travel patterns.
We plan to obtain a brand partner looking to tap into the festival market via the various goCarShare initiatives.
Use of proceeds
Optimising the service for businesses, refining the online payment system and integration with other social and professional networks.
Developing location based mobile apps to help create an on demand rideshare solution.
Roll out of goCarShare Sessions (piloted in 2012), videos of bands car sharing to festivals and performing en route. To be seeded via YouTube and the music press, as well as distributed via festivals - www.gocarshare.com/sessions.
Focused campaign along a specific route between two key hub cities.
B2B sales campaign to sign up new corporate clients and councils.
Generation Y - people in their mid twenties are the first generation to be surveyed who see car ownership as more of a burden than a benefit. Many of our early adopters who have used the service to festivals falls into this demographic.
Predominantly in their late teens or early twenties.
Weekend travelers between big city hubs. We will be rolling out goCarShare along routes between hub cities with large populations, focusing on those that are currently poorly served by public transport.
The average age for commuters is expected to be in their thirties. With a focus on people coming from the suburbs and rural locations, as we feel these will be less well served by public transport.
Characteristics of target market
There were 7.7 million tickets sold to UK festival-goers in 2009. We had three pilots in 2012 where festival-goers have each sent over thousand messages between users.
There are an estimated 1.8 million undergraduate students in the UK. Our survey which was sent out to every Durham University student and had 1,940 responses yielded the following information:
67% of students would be prepared to share with someone who is a friend of a friend;
48% of students would share with someone who is at the same university;
Demand for the service was estimated at 4 times per year.
There is a Local Sustainable Transport Fund of £600million - we believe councils may be prepared to allocate future funds towards provision of car sharing services.
We have already established relationships whereby festivals would promote goCarShare in varying degrees including:
On their website - normally on the travel section, but sometimes in the news section and even on the homepage;
Via their social media (predominantly - Facebook and Twitter messages);
In newsletters, press releases and with ticket confirmation emails.
goCarShare also carries out a significant onsite presence including at Priority Car Parks at the Festival and matching people up for the way back using a designated map.
goCarShare works in partnership with St Andrews University and MMU to promote car sharing to their students. We have a good contact base at numerous universities, and through experimentation with various initiatives, we have a good understanding as to what works and what doesn't. It's something that we intend to roll out more extensively in the future.
We will do this by building partnerships with venues along the specified route that we are trying to build up for car sharing (in a similar way as we did for festivals). We would also create a local story and focus on local PR.
As well as this we would look to convert existing users, perform guerrilla advertising and create a digital marketing campaign (Facebook advertising, Google retargeting and Adworks and affiliate advertising).
B2B and Council
We plan to sell directly to businesses and councils using their internal comms teams to help communicate the message.
goCarShare has established relationships with the several key festivals in the UK, which we think acts a a barrier to entry and makes it difficult for competitors to establish significant traction.
We have signed up a number of festivals, which we hope to increase significantly by summer 2013. The organisers would benefit from proactively promoting the goCarShare to their attendees as it helps with parking and congestion issues, reduces the carbon footprint of the event and makes the event more accessible for attendees.
goCarShare has gained significant brand awareness through these partnerships and through relevant press coverage, as an example, our survey detailed that 51% of the estimated 80k of people who attended Reading festival had already heard about goCarShare.
We think we have a very good understanding of the UK market, consumer motivation, the barriers, and how to overcome them - we have been trialing the website and refining the proposition for close to three years.
On a wider basis we are establishing a good reputation in the sustainable transport industry and Drummond is part of a working group that has been set up to help form an accreditation which will help determine how the sector reports data going forward and best practice.