Pedro Meduna is over the moon. The co-founder and global CEO of Tripda, the Brazilian car pooling start-up, believes the odd-even formula being tried out in Delhi will make car pooling mainstream. India is already one of Tripda’s top three markets, along with Brazil and Columbia. So much so that Meduna chose to tell HT about Tripda’s biggest milestone yet before any other publication. Read on.
Hi Pedro, what is this big milestone everyone in Tripda is so excited about?
We have reached the very significant milestone of a million members transported.
For the last 12 months, we have grown 30% month-on-month. India is one of our top three markets. It’s a country we are very excited about.
Is some of it due to the odd-even trials in Delhi?
Car pooling is a very good fit for emerging markets, as also for India. The cost of owning a car there is very high. People want to share the cost. Many people live in downtown Delhi and work in Gurgaon. It’s about 30 km but can take a long time. We do expect to have a higher usage because of the odd-even plan.
Uber and Ola have announced forays into car pooling. What is your response to it?
In terms of taxi companies, it often happens that some company wants to take advantage of the word car pooling, which means a good, clean ride. If a taxi aggregator starts to offer car pooling, what it means is people sharing taxi rides. It is important not to get confused.
What is the difference?
If people share a taxi, the driver makes money. We incentivise people to only share the cost of the ride. Our pricing is 30-50% of what a shared ride will be on an Uber or Ola. On Tripda we are sure of travelling with a car owner, whom you can choose. Users of Tripda end up having good relationships with people they pool with.
Once they have a relationship, won’t they bypass Tripda?
They will have to call every day and reach out. You might get to know someone, but you don’t want ask everytime, ‘Can you pick me up?’ Our product offers smart flexibility. If there are 500 options from Delhi to Gurgaon every day, you will be able to find a ride that suits you the best.
Your service is free. When will you start to monetise?
Our biggest challenge is to make the product popular. We may start to monetise by the end of 2016 or beginning of 2017. It will be a market-to-market decision.