NSW-based land travel marketplace Jayride.com has secured $400,000 in funding from local investors, including angel investor Andrey Shirben, as it prepares to crack the UK market.
Founded in 2008 by Rod Bishop and Ross Lin, Jayride is a ridesharing service, which also aggregates transportation data.
The service is currently available in Australia and New Zealand, with plans to expand to the UK.
Unlike other ridesharing and car-pooling start-ups, Jayride provides a single interface for users to find all transport options, and combines the data with the available ride-sharing options.
This way, travelers are never in a situation where they research a route and end up without options.
Instead, when there are no rideshares found on the users’ planned route, Jayride shows them bus schedules, shuttles, relocation cars and other transportation options.
“Ridesharing is an amazing new industry, with over US$30 million raised by start-ups globally in the last 12 months,” Bishop says.
“These start-ups are using online marketplaces to crack the challenge of acquiring critical mass in land transport.”
“We are doing the same, not just for rideshare, but for all fragmented land travel modes. We look forward to taking this around the world.”
According to Bishop, Jayride is in the process of closing a $400,000 seed funding round led by angel investor Andrey Shirben, who has put in $50,000 for an undisclosed stake in the company.
Bishop says all of the funding has come from Sydney-based angel investors, with “half a dozen names on the table at the moment”. He says Jayride always intended to approach local investors.
“If we want to get skills on board, we want investors we can engage with in the city… We are excited to welcome Andrey as our first investor,” Bishop says.
“We foresee that his talent and experience will be instrumental in accelerating the growth of Jayride.com as he has been with other companies he has worked with.”
Shirben was one of the first investors in digital marketing software company Kenshoo.
In addition to helping Jayride with financing, Shirben will bring his digital marketing expertise to assist the company, as well as connect Jayride with other players in the global travel sector.
Within a year, Jayride plans to raise another round led by a US venture capital firm, as it prepares to expand its geographical transport data coverage.
“After meeting Jayride’s founders, following up with them over the course of a few months and seeing their execution, the decision to invest was an easy one,” Shirben said in a statement.
“Great team, disruptive idea, lots of business potential in a huge market. What else could an investor ask for?”
Bishop’s advice to other start-ups seeking to raise funds from local investors is to find “rock star” investors, but also people who can bring skills to the table.
“It’s really important to be proactive and don’t take no for an answer. Keeping talking to people and explaining why you’re worth their time,” he says.
“If you keep making traction, people will eventually take notice and act on that.”