Sydney startup SkedGo has teamed up with $US60 billion tech giant Uber to combine ridesharing and public transport, helping users plan a complete and efficient trip.
The “collaborative partnership” will see SkedGo integrating Uber into its trip planning app TripGo
“We wanted to integrate Uber for quite a while [but] it was very much ‘our way or the highway’ for them,” TripGo founder Klaus von Hessberg tells StartupSmart.
“They didn’t want any other transport app that would show [other] alternatives to them. We are all about a choice.”
Von Hessberg says these difficulties in negotiating with the startup giant nearly proved too much.
“We kind of gave up on them,” he says.
“In the beginning they were dismissive of anyone that tried to compete with them.”
But von Hessberg says Uber is now appear to be realising the opportunity in cooperating with other market players.
“You have to provide a value proposition or access to an audience they don’t have yet,” he says.
“As long as they are interested, they will be your lobbyist inside their company.”
Despite Uber’s early apprehension von Hessberg and his team continued slowly growing TripGo’s reach around the world, including a successful run at the Rio Olympics with more than 5000 new active users jumping on.
Eventually, Uber came knocking on the Sydney startup’s door.
“They saw a lot of their pick-ups are near transport hubs and terminals,” he says.
A short but successful trial followed and now, TripGo users across Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Perth can consider the ridesharing service when planning their multimodal trips.
“It fulfils the promise that we’ve given our users from the beginning,” von Hessberg says.
“We’re combining them into trips that make sense.”
Uber hasn’t made a financial contribution for the integration but it will make a “bit of extra money” from rides it wouldn’t have otherwise been exposed to, von Hessberg says.
With a vision to reduce congestion in cities by reducing the need to drive right in, von Hessberg says Uber’s integration with taxis, public transport and other options on TripGo will help achieve this.
“They can combine all the transport modes to get into cities and get around,” he says.
General manager for Uber ANZ David Rohrsheim says the company will continue to collaborate with solutions and apps that link with public transport systems worldwide.
“Uber is working with cities and local transport systems around the world to solve the first and last mile problem, and this partnership will help feed more people into, and effectively expand the reach of existing public transport services,” Rohrsheim says.