Can’t find a cab? How about carpooling with a friendly stranger going the same way and splitting the cost? New local startup Ryde hopes to promote carpooling in Singapore, using geo-location and user reviews to put people in touch. Founder Terence Zou tells us more.
What apps inspired RYDE?
Airbnb matches people who have lodging with people who are looking for one. When people think of traveling, saving some money and meeting new people, they think Airbnb. When people want to move around daily, want to save a bit of cash, save the environment and meet new people, we want them to think RYDE. We are both part of the new sharing economy.
Will Singaporeans be into carpooling with strangers?
Carpooling takes place all the time in both formal and informal arrangements in many developed cities. Today, with the advancements in geo-location technology, growth of social networks and the proliferation of smartphones, the idea of carpooling makes more sense, along with the bigger idea of being part of the sharing economy. In fact, many companies have built businesses based upon the sharing economy. Airbnb and local startups like Panda Bed and Rent Tycoons are some examples. Carpooling is a great way to save money, make new friends and reduce congestion. We are very confident it will catch on in a big way and it has been very encouraging with overwhelming sign ups to date.
What’s the RYDE office like?
We are a small team tucked away in a minimalistic office. Think white walls, simple furniture, glass partitions and lots of sunlight. We keep our environment clean and free from clutter so that the ideas can keep flowing. Besides we spend long hours in the office and its a conducive place to be in. We are growing and looking out for good people to join us.
What are some challenges you face as a startup?
As a startup we have to constantly solve problems and deal with the unexpected. It's a rush of adrenaline daily. When things go awry at times, it is all about self belief. We work through the problems methodically as a team and convince our stakeholders that the direction is the right one and most importantly, we never give up and push on. Entrepreneurship is not easy but immensely rewarding when we look at the value of we have created. Ultimately, we seek to transform the lives of people and make an impact.