Unique Value Proposition – eCarpool
For passengers and drivers wanting to carpool to save money, eCarpool acts like match-maker connecting the two parties for a fun and safe ride!Learn More at eCarpool.me
Video Pitch – eCarpool
Project Timeline – eCarpool
- Experienced the Pain-point (Jan 2013) – As a student with a limited budget traveling between Toronto and Kingston, I was not satisfied with the solutions available. I had to either buy a bus ticket witch was $80+ for a round-trip or search for a person to carpool / rideshare with which could be under $40.
- Conduct Primary Market Research (Feb 2013) – Studied how people were currently solving the problem. Talked to friends and other students. Noticed the increasing popularity of “Ridesharing / Carpooling” Groups of Facebook.
- Created a Landing Page (May 2013) – Created a landing page to capture leads and evaluate pre-launch interest. Promoted via word of mouth and social media – particularly in the ridesharing / carpooling facebook groups. The lead capture or interest was much below the number I was aiming for – only 100 students.
- Collaborated with SlingRide (September 2013) – To solve the issue of low interest, I collaborated with SlingRide to learn from them and leverage their ready-to-use software application. We were not able to overcome the lack of interest or traction issue in a set timeframe.
- Project Was Concluded (December 2013) – The idea did not pass the fundemental business hypothesis and metrics that I set up in the beginning. Therefore, the project was concluded and shut down.
Lessons Learned – eCarpool
- Primary Research – Learn from other failed startups. There are multiple failed carpooling startups within Canada – these include eCarpool (myself), SlingRide, and WeRoll. Ask questions like what did they try? Why did they fail? How can I avoid that?
- Understand your Market Type – Knowing that you are in a re-segmented market and convincing people of an alternative is crucial to early stage focus. I would have focused better on solving the inertia that is inherent in such a market.
Watch-list of Startups
Below are some carpool / ridesharing startups that I am keeping an eye on to continue to learn and build upon my experience in this space;
BlancRide – Mobile Carpooling Platform
- Date Founded: October 2013 (Similar Time as eCarpool)
- Funding to Date: $1.2M Seed
- Users to Date (April 2014): Rides Listed = 237