Friday, 6 June 2014

WunderCar is coming to Dublin!

Social ridesharing as a nice and affordable alternative to carsharing and taxis

A new ridesharing concept will be introduced in Dublin, one of the thriving tech hubs of Europe. A team of former Airbnb employees is launching WunderCar mobile app that allows people with a car to sign up and offer lifts to a fellow. The app is available for both Android and iOS. After a successful launch of this concept in Berlin and Hamburg, Dublin will be the first city outside Germany to benefit from this new transportation alternative. “Dublin is known for its hospitality and openess to innovation. We believe that people in Dublin will use WunderCar to meet new people, earn or save some extra money and move around their city!” says Gunnar Froh, WunderCar’s Founder and CEO.

WunderCar has already opened an application process for drivers and every person with a car can apply to become a WunderDriver. As safety is one of the main priorities at WunderCar, drivers have to go through a particular background and car check. Each potential driver is also participating in a personal or phone interview. Besides that, there is a system of rating. Both drivers and passengers rate each other after each lift. Before taking a lift each passenger sees this rating and may cancel the request if she feels unsure.

As for the payment, passengers may pay their drivers through the app without handling any cash. All payments are considered to be a voluntary donation. The app is suggesting a fair tip, which is based on the driver’s expenses for each particular lift. WunderCar makes sure that the tips suggested do not exceed costs of driving and that every driver understands the concept. Primary goals of any WunderCar driver are to meet new people, have a nice talk and help out a fellow from the neighborhood.

Each passenger is free to pay the amount she wants. This makes it the first “pay-what-you-want” transportation alternative in Ireland. Experience from a few thousand successful rides in Germany show that people are willing to pay on average 20% more than suggested even though payments are voluntary. Froh explains: “Community is an important aspect of the WunderCar work. We are ordinary people helping each other out. There is a strong sense of fairness between our drivers and passengers.”

WunderCar is one of the examples of successful sharing economy start-ups. Being built on the idea that people want to use and share assets without owing them, these companies use technology to connect people who have a car or accommodation with those who need them temporarily. While most start-ups in this area are operating from the USA, WunderCar is a rare example of the company founded and headquartered in the EU.