Mohsen Mohsenpour, Nima Tahami, and Deepak Parpyani share a common founder story. They met in the Velocity Residence, identified a shared pain-point, and researched the opportunity. In May 2016 they founded ShiftRide and moved into the Velocity Garage startup incubator to receive the mentorship to grow their business.
The mobility solution ShiftRide provides would eliminate the need for car ownership. Their application gives users access to cars that would normally be parked, renting them out for hours at a time, or for as little as ten minutes. Once the trip is finished, the user returns the car to the same spot they found it, in time for when the owner needs it back. The founders believe ShiftRide is ideal for students and young professionals who can’t afford to own a car but still want the convenience of one, and car owners can make some extra money on the side. The match is a win-win, except for one minor detail: How do you get car owners to trust strangers with their vehicles?
The founders acknowledge that this is the biggest challenge they face. Changing how society views car-sharing models will require some work, but they’re confident that the layers they’ve put in place to protect car owners will make a smoother transition. For instance, when it comes to insurance, ShiftRide spent time with Canadian insurance companies developing a new policy which doesn’t affect the car owner’s insurance. If a car owner was fined a speeding ticket that wasn’t theirs, ShiftRide’s policy would reimburse the owner completely.
In an effort towards making all the cars connected, ShiftRide places a physical device called ShiftRide Box in every vehicle. It measures the rate to charge users, the mileage, driving behaviours, and even ensures the cars are properly maintained. Additionally, there will be a rating system within the app, meaning both car owners and users must keep a high rating to continue using the service.
ShiftRide recently launched an alpha version of their service in August and surpassed their first fifty bookings by September.
“When building a startup, you face so many uncertainties that your best bet is to believe in something. From the start, we knew that ShiftRide would be the company that transforms car ownership to what we call ‘car usership’, because we believe that you shouldn’t have to own a car to drive one” – Nima Tahami, Co-founder of ShiftRide