RideAlike is a Canadian mobility company that offers the ultimate peer-to-peer car-sharing marketplace for both owners and renters to share, rent, and swap vehicles. All our car rentals and swaps include $2M commercial insurance, 24/7 roadside assistance across North America, and a community of verified users. When a car owner’s personal car is rented via RideAlike, it is covered by RideAlike’s commercial insurance.
Tell us about yourself?
I come from a banking background with digital transformation acumen, and I am very passionate about sharing economy, which inspired me to build this venture. I want to make the sharing economy more accessible, which will ultimately build an environmentally friendly future. I am also committed to helping people save money and turn their idle vehicles into revenue.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Think long and hard about who your customers are and who would potentially win if you win, and talk to them (with as many as possible), focusing on their problems. Let it brew in your mind 24/7 (LOL), and come up with a solution that they would love to pay attention to. Do not forget to accept their feedback gracefully.
What problem does your business solve?
We help car owners earn income from their idle cars and renters to access cars nearby from their local neighbourhood, helping other car owners. Also, importantly, people need access to different types of cars because one car simply does not serve all their needs. That’s where our RideSwap feature is helpful.
In this economy, where all expenses are going up due to inflation and increased interest rates, income earned from RideAlike can help car owners pay off car maintenance and ownership expenses, go towards other bills or even be used for leisure activities/travel. Besides the convenience factor, car sharing is also a significant step towards reducing carbon emissions from the air.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
I used to live in a condo in Toronto. Every time I needed to rent a car, I had to take public transportation and commute for an hour to go to the airport or other car rental locations to pick up my rental. The car rental company would also switch up the rental on me last minute, so I never got the car that I wanted which was frustrating. I noticed that more than 30 per cent of the cars in my condo were always parked in the garage and collecting dust. That is when the business idea came to me. What if people could rent a car from people nearby who aren’t always using their cars?
What is your magic sauce?
There are other car-sharing companies out there, and I’m sure there will be a lot more in the next few years. The key differentiator that makes RideAlike stand out from other companies is that we offer a swap feature. Similar to a dating app, you can like someone’s car on the app. If that car owner likes your car back, you can swap cars for a few days at a fraction of the rental cost. This is convenient for people with sedans who need an SUV for the weekend and vice versa or looking for a convertible for a weekend getaway. Plus, we are building a trusted community where you can share cars with other like-minded real people.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
Right now, we have launched in Ontario and are preparing to expand to other provinces. We would like to branch out to other cities across North America and beyond.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Our biggest challenge was to obtain the right insurance coverage that would cover car rentals when cars are rented through RideAlike. In addition, we had to obtain regulatory approval, a roadside assistance partner, and onboard a few other operational partners, such as payments (via Stripe) and hosting (via AWS). From dreaming about this business venture to developing and launching RideAlike was a three-year journey. We knew that we had to go through this journey because we were determined to build a company that would become a source of Canadian pride in the coming years.
How can people get involved?
We, the RideAlike founders, invite more Ontarians and Canadians to use RideAlike and share their thoughts and feedback on how we can make our platform even more robust. RideAlike is available via iOS, Android and Web applications. In short, if you are looking to earn income from your idle car, rent a car, or swap your car for a few days, RideAlike is the app that you need to download and sign up with. Follow @RideAlike on socials. We are always looking for partnership ideas, so please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.