Collective Inc.

Harnessing the power of mobile phones and new technology
Irvine, California, United States United States
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Company description

Personal transportation is a vital part of daily life.  Much of this is done by individuals driving from point A to point B for their daily commute for work or school.  Regions like Southern California have a set pattern of drivers commuting without considering alternatives like carpools.

The issues many potential carpoolers and commuters face are convenience, reliability, and safety.  Depending on someone else to get around takes a leap of faith many are currently not willing to do.  Collective Inc. will change all that, and more, by introducing a new way to commute or carpool. 

Using proprietary technology along with existing, off-the-shelf hardware, Collective Inc. intends to revolutionize the commute process.  Real-time tracking of drivers and riders using now-common smart phone GPS technology along with an app-based interface and marketplace to match the commuters will allow for an efficient and effective way for commuting to take place.  This system will also monetize and incentivize the process, encouraging carpoolers and commuters into the carpool/HOV lane.

The benefits are for everyone: drivers can subsidize their commute by earning a nominal payment AND take advantage of the carpool lane, riders can minimize wear and tear on their car AND not drive for a nominal payment, traffic congestion will be less on the streets and freeways as more people consolidate into carpools, and the environment will benefit from lower pollution due to less cars.

Collective commuting, it's driving for the future!

Business model

By developing this collective commuting system and building critical mass, it is possible to create revenue and value for the company, its customers, and investors.  By leveraging the network-effect, drivers and riders can either be matched spontaneously or planned. 

A small monthly fee is levied to participate in the system.  A rider offers a payment for a driver, and if it is a sufficient amount, a driver will agree.  A small transaction fee is added for each successful driver/rider match, with each driver possibly carrying 2 or even 3 passengers.  The more riders he or she takes, the more the driver is subsidized.

Revenue will come from the membership fee along with the small transaction charge for matching the drivers and riders.  The number of transactions can be potentially huge; thousands of transactions every day.  Just as important, once developed, this business model can be duplicated in other cities around the country, even around the world.  In addition, ancillary revenue can be generated through targeted advertisements that can be focused with high geographic/demographic precision.

Think of eBay meets meets Craigslist, for the commuters.  All three business models have a large base of users, and with the exception of Craigslist, members are willing to pay for the service each website provides.

Competitive advantage

Currently, no system exists for commuters at this level of sophistication.  Once developed, Collective Commuting will have patented technologies that will be superior to existing ways of carpooling.  There is a first-mover opportunity that exists now.  Companies such as eBay, along with are extremely successful because of the service and value that is provided to its customers and they were able to establish their dominance early on and keep it with patents and additional innovation.