WHAT WE'VE DONE
Following on from raising investment on Seedrs, we've completely redesigned and rebranded the GoCarShare website. It’s led to an increase in user conversions of over 73%. And we've had over 26k journeys added to date.
We’re obsessive about user experience - the average score of whether our users would recommend us to a friend is 8.6/10. Since then we’ve travelled with users, interviewed them in car parks and carried out focus groups to find out what our users really want.
WHERE WE’RE GOING
Everything seems to point towards mobile. And for the record, mobile app usage increased 115% in 2013. Car travel is impulsive. If you decide to drive somewhere, you won’t necessarily be in front of your computer. But you are likely to have a phone in front of you. If you are at the station and you've just missed your train - how great would it be if you could press a button and get driven to your location with someone from our community?
We’re going to make this happen. We’re building a suite of location aware apps. First iOS, then Android. With push notifications, our new apps will vastly improve user engagement and add in virality with new social functionality.
We've won a paid licensing deal with Telefonica / O2, with a potential global roll out. Through some interesting growth hacking techniques, we’re taking this overseas into new markets.
We’re raising £75,000 to make this happen and we’d like you to be a part of it.
‘We’re going to change the way that people travel, for good’.
The GoCarShare Team
Everyday there are an estimated 38 million empty car seats travelling around Britain; Petrol prices recently increased 50% over a three year period and public transport prices have reached record highs.
GoCarShare is 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 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 intend to change the way people travel in a positive way:
Travelling in a full car significantly reduces the transport costs. Drivers earn money by renting out their empty car seats. Passengers pay a suggested contribution to the driver. It is calculated at a rate that ensures that it is almost always the cheapest way to travel.
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 continued to announce exciting partnerships - these include: Glastonbury, Saracens Rugby Club, and the Jockey Club (organisers of the Grand National, Cheltenham and Ascot Races).
>26k journeys added on the site to date
>26k messages sent between users
Average score to recommend to a friend 8.6
New press coverage in the BBC, Tech City News and the Guardian.
Backed by Telefonica via Wayra - one of 17 companies selected from 3,444, TechPitch 4.5, A&N media battle of the start ups, and Shortlisted for a TechCrunch Europa award.
Conferences and Events
New events invited to present at include:
The Shared Futures Event, Canary Wharf
NACUE: Start up Career Launchpad
The World Collaborative Mobility Conference, Bern
Manchester University Entrepreneurs
Member of the Challenger Business Programme hosted at Downing Street
Giles Bailey (ex Head of Marketing Strategy, TFL),
Campbell Murray (ex Head of Market Development, Intuit), and
Virginie Faucon (ex Strategy Marketing and Brand, Head of Cover, Telefonica).
Passengers pay drivers a contribution that is based on the estimated mileage. GoCarShare takes a commission of 15% before passing the remainder to the driver after the journey has been completed.
Organisation Car Share
GoCarShare offers tailored 'white label' car share schemes for companies, and detailed reporting, recording carbon saved through car sharing, as well as estimates of employee savings. Car share schemes can 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
GoCarShare has created an exciting prototype for an on demand app that helps people share car journeys right at the last minute. We are happy to share this.
Please email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) with you contact details and LinkedIn profile if you'd like us to talk you through.
We will create a DIY GoCarShare site, allowing events and organisations to add their own car share pages, opening up new up-sell opportunities. We are creating the first global one stop shop for travel to event and festivals. At the moment the market is fragmented. By using relevant APIs to pull together a comprehensive database, optimising them for SEO purposes with the help of a crowdsourced travel to festival guide and expanding our partners to include a growing number of international festivals.
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 fall into this demographic. There were 6.5 million tickets sold to live UK music events in 2013 which generated £2.2bn for the UK economy. We have run pilots with close to no marketing budget where festival-goers have each sent well over a thousand messages between users.
Predominantly in their late teens or early twenties.
Weekend travellers 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 have run pilots with close to no marketing budget where festival-goers have each sent well over a 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.
We are currently building a network of student ambassadors who will promote this at their relevant university.
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 Adwords 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 key festivals in the UK, which we think acts as a barrier to entry and makes it difficult for competitors to establish significant traction.
The organisers benefit from proactively promoting 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.
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 over 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.
Through working closely with 02 Telefonica we have a strong mobile proposition and are starting to map out opportunities with telematics and in car technologies.