innovation News Startups JumpIn Ride Offers Carpooling Services in South Africa By Incubate Africa Posted on March 16, 2017 0 0 Wanted to travel but lack a ride? Have spare sits in your ride when going for that trip and looking for company? Start-up incubator and accelerator, Far Ventures, saw the potential in South Africa’s emerging market place; a hub of small business activity and a population that craved innovation. After conducting a 6-month study, Far Ventures decided to develop a carpooling platform. JumpIn Rides was launched in July 2016, as a solution to South Africa’s over-burdened transport system. JumpIn Rides offers a fresh, innovative and niche solution to the challenges of medium to long distance travel. It offers a (currently) free platform to connect drivers with spare seats to passengers looking for a lift. Passengers are also able to request a lift and be notified when a spare seat becomes available around their desired date of departure. The key priorities are safety and accessibility. These challenges are recurrent in South Africa’s policy process. However, their specialized approach, targeting medium to long distance travellers, allows them to address these issues directly as they happen. The service minimizes the cost of fuel and carbon emissions per passenger, offers flexibility with customized departure times and dates, increases accessibility for travel to those who do not own a vehicle and ensures the safety of both passengers and drivers. JumpIn Rides addresses the issue of safety head on; their reliability counter requires users to provide their personal details, including their ID number, for verification. Confidentiality is guaranteed, of course. A user’s reliability counter improves with identity verification and more information provided, allowing users to assess one another and accept or deny a shared lift. This gives drivers and passengers more autonomy in their transport decisions. The appeal of the JumpIn Rides platform is that anyone can be a driver, as long as they have a valid driver’s license and extra seats to offer passengers. The startup is currently pre-revenue, offering the platform to users for free at this point until it reaches a bigger user base. At that point it plans to charge a commission on each ride.