RidePal
Location: PO Box 720203, San Francisco, California, United States, 94172, United States
Founded in: 2011
Stage: Revenue generating
Number of employees: 6-15
Funding history:
- Date: 04/2014, IPO: undisclosed amount
Investors: Jiyoung Lee
- Date: 05/2012, Seed: $400 k (post valuation: undisclosed amount).
Investors: Greenstart
- Date: 02/2012, Seed: $25 k (post valuation: undisclosed amount).
Investors: Greenstart
- Date: 07/2011, Seed: $74.5 k (post valuation: undisclosed amount).
Investors: Friends and Family
Short URL: vator.co/ridepal
Followers (95)

RidePal

Google Shuttles for the rest of us.
Startup/business
California, United States United States
http://ridep.al

RidePal connects companies and commuters with bus carriers to provide
a comfortable, reliable, convenient and productive commute in state of the art buses with wi-fi. Cost can be shared between corp and Riders.Sales Channel for Supply side during their low demand times.

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Company description

Provide a flexible, social, enjoyable and eco-friendly commute through time-shared wi-fi enabled shuttles.

Businesses or riders only pay for the capacity they need.

Riders get convenient commuting options and put their commute time to use. RidePal makes commuters happier.

Companies can extend their recruiting range, better retain employees and increase productivity. There is a diminushing return after a few buses, which can be reduced if buses are shared.

Also the more buses the more overhead in managing the program. Google has a full time team of several people to manage the program. For other companies, this was the reason why they dropped the program.

Transportation companies achieve more revenue and efficient utilization of their vehicles.

Market Size

Total Addressable market in the US is $1bn in revenue across all top 20 markets (> $500M in profit) -

We believe that there is also an opportunity internationally

Other trends that are helpful (see LA deep dive in uploaded documents, private space)

  • Companies organized in clusters (usually by vertical)
  • Residential areas organized in clusters too (societal change, people tend to gather up with like-minded people, similar education background, similar professional aptitude, etc...)
  • outdated public transportation networks and very expensive to adapt. Not matching current commuting patterns
  • Huge traffic issues
  • A lot of alternative transportation models already deployed in those areas and are changing people's driving habit, showing that the idea that 'Americans just want to drive' may be no longer true
  • Prioritized market and urban areas based on these configurations, usually leading to very congested roads + total number of commuters that drive alone to work today
  • We have already received inquiries from Atlanta, Denver and Los Angeles
  • Urban areas with these characteristics represent $1bn in revenue for RidePal sustainably

 

Customer Problem: Companies have a hard time recruiting remote top talent because of a long Commute. They pay a 20% premium on salaries to compensate, or become a high cost transportation agency to remain competitive. Commuting is the daily task most injurious to happiness for people and present serious health risks. This forces people to make suboptimal personal and professional decisions.

 

Product/Services: RidePal pools demand across companies for shared buses with a turnkey solution. Using real-time ridership data, its route planning technology keeps the routes relevant and efficient for both riders and transportation companies. Social features personalize the experience and build tight communities around each shuttle. Ancillary services organized around RidePal hubs and buses increase loyalty and profitability.

 

Sales/Marketing Strategy: Seed: direct to Premium Plan companies as anchor  to cover Bus Minimums – neighboring companies on Professional Plan to ride along. There is therefore no need for companies to collaborate, they sign up with RidePal to buy seats or Rides as a professional plan, and Premium can create routes (and easily share cost with employeesm later further discounting themselves as they accept to share their shuttles). Create pull among Riders. Scale: Viral nature of product, HR  outsourcing/recruiting firms.  Distribution via WageWorks and CommuterChecks, on-bus branding, online advertising, local radio, word of mouth, online and social advertising and earned media.

 


Team
  • Nathalie Criou
    Nathalie Criou | Team member
    Co-Founder and CEO of RidePal - Google Shuttles for the rest of us
Business model

Professional Plan: per ride or per seat (passes available)

Riders pays for a non-company subsidized portion of their Rides (could be $0)

Companies can subsidize all or part of their employees Rides and buy subscription plans for different levels of services.

Enterprise Plan

Large enterprises can outsource their commuting program entirely to RidePal's cloud-based service in exchange for a management fee.

Premium Plan

Some companies can jumpstart by covering the cost of a bus and get discounted out by inviting employees to participate and open the bus for sharing so RidePal can sell seats and Rides on that route.

New Bus Kitty (eBay for shuttles...)

Companies and Riders can start new routes by putting down a retainer. They can set up a route, put a bid on it. 'Reserve price' is set by RidePal and could be cost of full bus, or cost of the bus minus what we are already getting in terms of revenue for it - or whatever we think we want to invest to start the route). People can continue to place bids on the route to get a voice on it and seats. Once the route gets started, it migrates to the more traditional route planning and sales model

Offers expire after 90 days.

Traction

15 companies have deployed. SolarCity Premium Customer. 300 registered riders. Proposals to and meetings with high profile startups and fortune 500 companies. 
Closing deals with all types of companies, including law firms, medical centers, high-tech firms and even non-profits. 

Supply Side

Supply Side: http://demo.ridepal.com/blog/?p=167

Competitive advantage

Patent pending route technology (it is a lot of moving pieces!) - traditional solutions around route planning typically optimize how to go from Point A to Point B but not where to place pickup and dropoff points to maximize ridership. 

Head start - we have a huge sales pipeline to prioritize and several routes running. We understand the painpoints, willingness to pay and an efficient market segmentation.

Network effect - viral incentives - companies we have signed up are trying to sign up others. Even though we have not actively marketed this to individual Riders, we have had new riders coming from referrals from existing Riders.

Tight communities - Riders and Drivers develop strong bonds. So do Riders and Riders. A product that reinforces these natural connections will make it harder to break them apart.

Investors