Tell us about the decision to apply for ER Accelerator
I had heard a lot about ERA before we had applied. One of our mentors for Dashride is also a mentor of the ERA program, and had told me all about it. One of the first things I had heard was about the community here. Not only is there a huge pool of awesome mentors who are always available, but the companies themselves are always helping each other work things out. Becoming a part of that sort of community, while being plugged into the greater NYC ecosystem, is invaluable. ERA also helps us figure out what pieces of a successful company we are missing, and assists in discovering the best ways to close those gaps.
Tell us about your service.
Dashride is a mobile dispatching solution that simplifies ride management for taxi and limo companies. As high tech companies are disrupting the livery industry, many companies are struggling to keep up. Sources have said that Uber brings in over $20M a week now – a number that continues to grow. These are all rides that would have been booked through taxi and limo companies. Our software allows these companies to simplify their processes, reduce dispatching costs and appeal to the modern consumer. Essentially, we ‘uberize’ taxi and limo companies.
How is it different?
The current dispatching technology out there is very antiquated. Most of the current ride management solutions out there are glorified Excel sheets. They are designed to simplify the role of the dispatcher. Dashride allows companies to minimize or completely eliminate the need for man-powered dispatching. Dashride also offers other features, such as a suite of marketing tools that companies can use to promote to their clientele. Currently, most taxi and limo companies do not have a database of their past users. Once you have that data, along with their basic information such as emails, a lot more opportunities to promote open up. Another feature that we offer is an analytics dashboard. Companies using Dashride are able to see a lot of key data points that they never had access to before.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
The taxi and limo market is huge. In the US alone, it’s $10B industry. Our software is also really lightweight and flexible and can be applied to many different use-cases, including ridesharing companies, carpooling companies, safe ride programs and even casinos that organize their own shuttles. More generally, our software can simplify processes for anyone who connects individuals who need rides to a specified network of drivers.
What is the business model?
Dashride is a B2B SaaS product. For monthly fees, the companies have access to our white-labeled software.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within 6 months?
In the next 6 months we plan to bring on an additional 50 new clients, along with four new hires. These are our primary focuses at this time.
If you could be put in touch with one investor in the New York community who would it be and why?
Getting to chat with Josh Spear would be awesome. He’s made some great bets in the past and I’m a big fan of what he’s doing with Undercurrent. He was also an early investor in Uber, so he’s got a great grasp of technology in the transportation industry.
What is your take on the current scene in New York today?
The tech scene in New York is amazing. New York City brings so many industries together – from financial services and advertising to fashion and media – it’s all here, and that’s the magic of this place. Tech companies of all shapes and sizes come here grow and learn from each other. There are the obvious huge players like Tumblr and Etsy, and then there are so many other really exciting guys popping up all over of the place here, like Grouper and Upworthy. ERA is a great place for us to jump right into the middle of it all.
How will being in NYC help your startup?
There are so many reasons why NYC is the best place for us to be. One obvious one is the amount of taxis and limos that exist here. As they are our primary target market, we really want to be in the thick of it. Some of the largest livery companies are headquarter in NYC, and are now looking for ways to maintain their position in the market. It’s a really exciting time in the transportation industry in general, but in NYC it is especially apparent.