The world's first all electric and free car-sharing service

#3 Product of the DayJanuary 14, 2016
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Thanks for posting @fornerdan ! We were planning our PH debut for next week, but I guess you can't plan these things :) The idea behind WaiveCar is to provide free to low cost, clean transportation alternatives for cities. We cover our costs with ad revenue via a digital display mounted on the roof of the vehicle. The displays are not just a computer monitor - besides for being military grade, the screens are smart - they can display ads dynamically, including geolocated ads - very cool for on street, hyper localized ads. For now, we're using the Chevy Spark EV. We have 20 cars and they get about 80 miles of range on a charge. Our first market is LA, starting in Santa Monica. From there we're planning on expanding the LA fleet to 200 vehicles. Rentals are completely FREE for the first 2 hours. We just take need to check your drivers license and have a CC on file. After 2 hours, it's $5.99 / hr (not to make money, but to ensure trips are short and the system can be used by all). We launched on Monday. If you're in Santa Monica, please download the app, stop by, and rent a car for free!
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@isaac_deutsch this is pretty damn cool! Such a big competitive market but what an angle! Do you see this as becoming a commute alternative to Uber, Lyft and people driving their not-so-friendly cars? Or is this more of a 'take a car for an afternoon' type angle? Do you think that people would happily ditch services like Uber and Lyft for something like WaiveCar? I see them as different use-cases but I know things may be different in the West Coast. Here in the UK, Uber is used as a replacement for a taxi. But renting a car for an afternoon like this would be amazing. Totally makes sense for big cities like London, New York etc where often having a vehicle during the week is a waste because it may need to be stored somewhere while you use public transport and you only need it for the weekend. It's crazy (in a great way) that we hopefully see less and less car ownership with other companies breaking out in these spaces! Congrats! What are your big plans?
@bentossell also reminds me of Scoot.
@chrismessina we're still to do our scoot around SF if I remember correctly!
@bentossell πŸπŸ’¨!
I love this model! I would suggest you append the 'LA Market only' information prominently on your website, when you can. This will help set consumer expectations and keeps people from downloading the app and getting disappointed. Best wishes for a successful rollout, would really like to see this work in many major metros.
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This is an absolute genius idea, I love it. Great job guys!
Super interesting. This reminds me of Wrapify, a startup that pays car owners to advertise on their car. I'm curious and skeptical about the business model though. Are advertisers paying enough to compensate the free price tag and enough for WaiveCar to generate meaningful revenue, @isaac_deutsch? Also, has Uber or Lyft experimented with this? Doing so would likely hurt their branding (it feels a bit cheap to travel inside an ad -- the opposite of Uber's original black car service -- but as a rider if the fare is cheaper, I'd love it). cc @chrismessina
@rrhoover When researching the business, we looked at the comps. What we found was that digital advertising on taxis generate more than enough revenue to cover the cost of the car, maintenance, and upkeep. You are spot on with Uber and Lyft. They don't want to damage their brand. Also- these displays can't be slapped on any car. They need to be custom engineered for each car model, and go through a rigorous safety testing- so it wouldn't really work for them in that way.
@zolihonig where does taxi ad inventory come from? Where will yours come from? Are you comparing taxi ad rates in the same geography or looking at national averages? Like @rrhoover I'm curious about the business model -- particularly because taxis in dense urban environments have a lot of surface area (a large fleet of cars with advertising space). 20 vehicles is a pretty small fleet, so how many vehicles would you need, and how often would they need to be driven, in order for your economics to work out?
@chrismessina Let's talk. DM Me :)
@chrismessina good point about the density. Many brands/companies won't bother with small ad buys that reach less than a million+ people, which may make it more challenging to get something like this started.
@rrhoover To answer your question and relation to Wrapify - Car wraps (which we have, currently sponsored by Oscar Health Insurance) cost about $2,000 per wrap - and they can't be changed easily. Our platform is designed to have ads change many times per day - including based on specific geographic areas (Ex Invision might only advertise with us when our cars are in the Silicon Beach area). Makes the ad platform a lot more flexible than just a vinyl plastic wrap. In addition, part of the logic behind 2 hours free and the low electric range is to ensure cars stay in the city and don't end up in an empty driveway somewhere - that isn't very useful for advertisers.
Really dig this. Hats off to your team @isaac_deutsch and can't wait for SF area supported!