Bandwagon is an iPhone and web application that makes it ridiculously easy to share rides in taxis and car services. And not to worry about breaking some law or city ordinance, or the service disappearing overnight: bandwagon was green-lighted by the TLC and Port Authority. In fact, it was funded in part by a grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. Founder David Mahfouda explains and heads up, Thanksgiving travelers: there’s an extra 10% off on your fare, good through Friday, November 29th
How is your service different from the others that available?
Well, we’re 1/3 the price of Uber, and 3x faster than Supershuttle. If you’re travelling to a NYC Airport this Thanksgiving, you’d be crazy not to use Bandwagon.
We’ve also built a sophisticated route coordination server that allows us to create complex, multi-part itineraries — so we’re not just a message board. We’re actually significantly increasing vehicle-capacity utilization on road networks by combining routes.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
Starting out with airport transportation – that’s a $3B market nationally. Quickly expanding to the broader on-demand transportation market, which is $20B Nationally.
What is the business model?
We sell seats instead of trips. Individuals pay 65% of the total fare, so when two people share, we generate an additional 30% revenue, 3 people = 95% increase.
Why is your team the right one?
Our CTO, Dan Luxemburg, has spent the past five years building geo-mobile apps. I have deep domain expertise in urban logistics and interaction design. We met at Harvard. We’re advised by Lou Riccio, a former NYCDOT commissioner.
You’ve picked up some traction recently. Tell us about it.
Our user base is growing month over month, and our repeat purchase rate is extremely high. We just launched in Montreal. We’ve also won two New York State Energy Research and Development Authority Grants, over $200K in government contracts — and were recently chosen as a finalist in the SXSW pitch competition, as well as in the Verizon Powerful answers competition.
If you could speak with one investor in the New York investment community, who would it be and why?
Mayor Bloomberg! I hear he has a thing for taxis, cities, and efficiency.
Why did you launch in New York?
The NYC Taxi system is 1/3 of the national market, and the 7th largest public transportation system in the US.