Wednesday, July 27, 2011/
Ever needed to catch a taxi, but been unable to locate one in your location? Andrew Campbell and Ned Moorfield aim to take the guesswork out of hailing a cab with their app, GoCatch.
The app works by allowing users to book cabs via their iPhones. The taxis are then tracked on a map.
Campbell spoke to StartupSmart about how the fledgling venture is travelling.
How did you two meet?
I met Ned at a start-up event in Sydney and we hit it off well. We agreed to catch-up for a coffee and I was determined to do something with him.
I mentioned the idea of an app that allows you to book taxis and see them on a map and Ned said that he had been thinking of the same idea.
Previously, I was managing another start-up, called Text2Get. Ned was in IT consultancy, working with clients like Barclays in London.
How did you fund the business?
We entered the idea into start-up competitions and won money at Peter Farrell Cup. We then went down to Adelaide and won the John Heine Entrepreneurial Challenge.
We got about $5,000 from each competition and used that money to build the app, as well as six months of our time and savings. But it was all pretty cost effective. I’d say it was tens of thousands, not any more than that.
What other help did you get?
After we won the John Heine Entrepreneurial Challenge, we applied to the NSW Government’s Collaborative Solutions program. It’s an awesome program for start-ups but you have got to do it as part of a consortium, so we teamed up with people from PayPal, Microsoft and Nokia. They provided us with handsets and advice.
The NSW Government reached out and brought them to the table. On top of that, Ned had a contact at Google and we got them to sign up to it. So we now use Google Maps on GoCatch and they have provided development help for us to get the app on Android.
This idea isn’t exactly unique is it?
No. We thought we were the only people in the world to hatch this idea, but we realised pretty quickly once we were putting together a business plan that there were a couple of others.
The great thing about GoCatch is that no infrastructure is required by the taxi drivers. Other apps have to convince taxi drivers to install GPS, while ours just uses the iPhone. Also, ours is completely free.