Brazil-based carpooling platform Tripda has announced fresh injection of capital of US$11 million in a Series A round.
It was led by German incubator Rocket Internet, and an undisclosed New York-based venture capital firm.
The funding will be used to expand global operations and grow user base across 13 countries where Tripda operates. It will also be channeled into developing web and mobile products for multiple markets.
Tripda shared with e27 that product development may include improvements like an easier usage of web or app to carpool, increased safety features, etc.
“We intend to grow our user base in the 13 countries where we operate today through online and offline marketing efforts. We are on the lookout for new emerging markets in the region with high potential for carpooling to grow the Tripda community,” Founder and Country Manager for Tripda Malaysia and Singapore Victor Ang told e27.
Ang also listed some of the key criteria when it comes to choosing a market, which include established roads, highway network, high population of cars, high Internet penetration and Facebook adoption, as well as high cost of car ownership and usage relative to disposable income.
Tripda’s ride-sharing platform matches users with available seats in the cars of other users, and provides an alternative form of travel for long-distance as opposed to buses, trains and short flights. With the recent cases of compromised security and safety concerning transport app Uber, travel apps are under pressure to implement better security checks.
Tripda’s policies on safety starts with verifying drivers and passengers by requiring users to login using a Facebook account and to register valid contact details in-app, even offering a “Ladies Only” option for women seeking all-female rides.
“Our goal in Southeast Asia and anywhere in the world is to make carpooling a simple and safe alternative to bus, rail and short air travel,” says Ang.
Also read: Meru Cabs integrates with Google Now
Currently, Tripda operates in 13 countries; Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Taiwan, India, Pakistan, US, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Colombia, with a team of 100 employees globally.
“We have an average of 140,000 ride searches per month globally. In four months, we have doubled the number of carpool rides completed every month globally, with an average realised trip length in the emerging markets of 68 miles,” Ang shared with e27.
“We will continue to seek partnerships with companies, NGOs and event organisers to encourage their employees, members and participants to carpool as the means of transportation where possible,” said Tripda.
Tripda is web-optimised, and available on Google Play and the iOS App Store.
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