We started as a small company that provided ridesharing services. Thanks to several brilliant technical solutions and constant attention to customer needs, we soon became the most recognizable name in the local market and expanded across Europe. Currently, we operate in four countries where we remain the largest and most popular name associated with speed, reliability, safety, and convenience. We have a constantly growing base of more than two million customers who add value to every ride while enjoying a safe trip.
Car4U is a ridesharing service. We do not provide services of professionals – we offer you an opportunity to economize on each ride by connecting you to the potential companions, fast and easy. You don’t pay for the services of the driver – you just lower the cost of a trip you are making anyway. A small fee for using our service is the only additional cost – you can’t get a cheaper ride. And it’s easy, too – all you need to get in is an app on your smartphone!
The customers pay only a small additional fee for using the online service, which makes the cost of the ride almost equal to the cost of the fuel. The distribution of the stakeholders ensures the availability of service and excludes stalls such as professional strikes (Attias 2017). Since the drivers don’t generate revenue, the activity does not require licensing. The payment is withheld by the service and transferred to the car owner after the confirmation (). Each user forms a rating that is used by the search engine.
Sales and Marketing
Car4U addresses the needs of the audience that is currently underestimated: customers who oppose uncontrolled spending and seek added value in their purchases. The optimizing quality of the service is appealing to the individuals interested in environmental self-sufficiency, which is a trendy direction and will be readily picked up by the media (Cavusgil et al. 2014). The company’s expertise in Europe, where environmental themes are prominent, provides communication means with environmental activist groups. Existing ties with coach-surfing public groups on social media platforms such as Facebook can serve an additional leverage, especially considering the fact that most of the audience is proficient in English.
UBER is the most formidable competitor. However, it operates on a different basis and is not strictly a ridesharing service. It requires either a license or an intermediary, and includes a fee for a driver, which gives us an advantage in terms of audience coverage and cost of the service (Figueiredo et al. 2016). In addition, several services are present in the region, with Carpool Arabia and Carpool Dubai being the strongest. Both have an existing customer base and cultural competence. We expect to gain an advantage using additional services such as insurance from partners and a reliable search engine supported by data crunching services that ensure speed and superior customer experience.
To quickly build up the critical mass of the customer base, the service will be provided free of charge during the first few months (6 to 10). The existing online platform and relatively small staff will further decrease the cost of operations on this stage, making it possible. Several connections must be established at this stage that would provide additional services, such as insurance. The absence of inventory (aside from minimal equipment), low cost of the service, knowledge of the target audience, and support from loyal customers in online communities would result in low CAC.
The sales, expenses, and revenues are in $ thousands. The sales are derived from the percentage of payments withheld by the service for usage. Note that the sales in the first year do not follow the pattern due to the pricing model at the initial stage (no fee for service for estimated 6 to 10 months). The revenue growth is steadier starting from the second year. The estimates are based on the existing experience with previous markets, which are situated in Europe, so variations are expected in the first year, with greater consistency starting from year 2 onward.
Cybil Bennett is a strong supporter of small project-oriented teams that are flexible and mobile enough to propel a young company. She has proven to have strong management skills in three small-scale projects in a similar setting and has overseen one successful fundraising two years before. She also has a profound experience of communication with the media and is a familiar face in international conferences on agile structures.
Michael Kaufmann is a passionate advocate of sharing economy and a proponent of socially-oriented business models. He also has significant experience in the area of branding and stands behind three well-recognized names that are currently on the market.
Harry Mason is a software engineer that has successfully participated as a lead developer in two major It projects over the last three years. His fascination with opportunities provided by the World Wide Web and the inventive approach to solving problems align well with the current vision of the company and would serve as a foundation for our leadership practices.
Status and Milestones
We already have the necessary means of launch and a core team of 7 members. The localization of the service is nearing completion, and we expect to launch in no more than four months.
Since the initial stage will generate no revenues, we consider the customer activity our primary goal. Thus, the number of installations of our app can serve a rough estimate of our popularity. The distance of registered trips, on the other hand, is a direct evidence of service’s functioning, with 100,000 km serving a proof of successful market penetration. Finally, the appearance in media as an environmentally-friendly company will ensure the recognition of the target audience.
Attias, D 2017, The automobile world in a state of change, Springer International Publishing, Thousand Oaks.
Cavusgil, S T, Knight, G, Riesenberger, J R, Rammal, H G & Rose, E L 2014, International business, Pearson, Canberra.
Figueiredo, J M, Lenox, M, Oberholzer-Gee, F & Vanden Bergh, R G 2016, Strategy beyond markets, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley.
Shin, C 2016, The social business imperative: Adapting your business model to the always-connected customer, Prentice Hall, London.