The Singapore social enterprise’s funding comes amidst regional powerhouse GrabTaxi’s entry into the carpooling scene
The carpooling scene is heating up.
On the heels (or, to be more exact, the bumper) of GrabTaxi’s announcement last week of a carpooling feature, GrabHitch, which will debut in Singapore in December, competition is arriving in the form of RYDE (not to be confused with India’s ibiboGroup‘s Ryde).
The Singapore startup, which launched in April this year with a carpooling app that it claims has recruited 10,000 active users to date, has raised S$1.5 million (US$1.06 million) in seed funding, it announced today.
“We fill empty seats, build communities and reduce congestion. We seek to be the Airbnb of transportation,” said Terence Zou, Founder and CEO of RYDE Technologies.
RYDE uses GPS technology and a proprietary algorithm to match drivers to riders. The company requires drivers to verify their identity by submitting a photo ID. It allows women an option to carpool with other women, a feature that GrabHitch is also looking to offer.
Insurance company Aviva has partnered with RYDE in this venture, providing a carpooling rider policy to drivers who are existing Aviva policy holders. RYDE drivers who are not Aviva policy holders have an option to purchase an Aviva car insurance policy with carpooling coverage at no additional cost to the premium.
“Aviva is happy to work with RYDE to promote a more eco-friendly alternative while forging a closer community,” said Jing Long Pan, Aviva Head of General Insurance.
RYDE is a social enterprise certified by the Singapore Centre of Social Enterprise and has been featured under DBS Bank’s Asia-for-Good programme as an emerging social enterprise.
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