"Not another ride-sharing platform!" were my thoughts when I first heard of the South African startup JumpIn Rides.
Across the continent, you hear of a new ride-sharing platform almost on a monthly basis that is set to "disrupt Uber" but hardly ever does. They are so many that in some countries like Kenya even a telecommunications company, Safaricom, has launched one.
Pauline du Paty, Managing Director
at JumpIn Rides
JumpIn Rides is different though, according to Pauline du Paty, Managing Director at JumpIn Rides, the service is currently free and they also "have more than 35 relevant and strong partnerships with events, music festivals, and Universities. The idea is to provide trust and safety to people heading to the same place," explained du Paty to iAfrikan.
The startup was also among the finalists for Seedstars World Cape Town in 2017.
Unlike the better known ride-sharing services in South Africa such as Uber and Taxify, JumpIn Rides allows drivers to post their route and destination online and then the platform will suggest passengers going the same way. Once a driver is matched with a passenger or passengers, they are then left to discuss the finer details of the trip among themselves including cost, pick up point etc. Somewhat similar to Lyft in North America, or BlaBlaCar in Europe, which du Paty shares was the inspiration behind starting JumpIn Rides.
The main issue JumpIn Rides likely has to grapple with is possibly convincing potential South African users that the service is safe, a sentiment du Paty somewhat agrees with when she said that "the main challenge is to convince South Africans that our service responds to a need and would help them to make better use of the road network and connect people to each other,".
Given that they are still relatively a new platform, they don't seem to be struggling that much in acquiring new users as du Paty shared that they currently have 3,000 plus active users on the platform at a growth rate of approximately 50% month-on-month. Encouraging numbers.