Thứ Hai, 28 tháng 7, 2014

How getting away from the airport could be a million dollar idea

Jayride founder Rod Bishop believes the company can tap a potentially lucrative gap in the market, for private transport services, which are run by a series of disparate small local providers, who often have no online presence. Photo: Connie Chan

Paul Smith

The founder of Australian online passenger transport marketplace Jayride is hitting the road himself as the company seeks new investors to kick in $2 million in order to fuel expansion plans covering six countries.

Jayride is an aggregator of private transport company booking information, which is seeking to become the standard online port of call for travellers and agents looking to pre-book airport shuttles, private transfers and ridesharing in destinations across Australia and internationally.

Company founder Rod Bishop believes Jayride can tap a potentially lucrative gap in the market, which is most easily illustrated by airport shuttle services. These are required by nearly all travellers at some point, but are run by a series of ­disparate small local providers, who often have no online p­resence. The problem for travellers arriving at an airport and then having to work out the best way to complete the final stage of their trip, is one that is ripe for a tech intervention, Mr Bishop said.

“It is a $30 billion plus market in just a few key international regions, which doesn’t have a leading ecommerce solution. There are many thousands of transport companies, but how can you know who they are, where they all go and how much they all charge?” he said. “When you travel you can book your hotel and flights and almost all other aspects of your trip online, but nobody ever tries to sell you an airport transfer as part of that, so Jayride is trying to fill that gap.”

The company has been around since January 2012 and has nine employees. Its early stages have been funded by a roster of Sydney-based angel investors including the Sydney Angels Sidecar Fund and some strategic investors from Singapore and Malaysia, who are involved in other transport businesses.

Mr Bishop said the company was due to break even within 18 months on current projections and would be selling investors on the potential for Jayride to be a presence on every third party travel booking website around the world.

Rather than relying solely on its own website, the company views itself principally as a technology company, which supplies a dataset of transport booking data to other sites and mobile apps. It will use the fresh funding to develop relationships with more and more transport companies to add to their system.

The company makes its money by charging a 10 per cent to 30 per cent commission on each booking.

Transport sector’s period of disruption

Mr Bishop said the transport sector was going through a period of technological disruption, which has been most notably led by online ridesharing company Uber.

He said Uber was seen as a rival by many of the small transport companies, who were seeing themselves missing out on fares to rides booked online.

“Some of these companies are black car companies with hundred-year heritage, but they have never really accessed passengers online and suddenly Uber has come in and is doing it better than them,” Mr Bishop said. “What we have for these other companies is the ability to get back in the game online in the same way as Uber.”

How getting away from the airport could be a million dollar idea

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