D.C. is Uber friendly: its October ridesharing legislation was dubbed a “model” bill by head strategist David Plouffe (who, of course, made his name as Obama’s 2008 campaign manager).
Now though, a new app is coming to town to shake up the conventional definition of ridesharing. (Yes, what does that term really mean, anyway?)
Tripda, an online marketplace for long-distance trips, is the “real ridesharing” app, said CEO and cofounder Adi Vaxman. “The ride already happens and you’re sharing it.”
Because the service is incomparable to a taxi ride — the transaction amounts to individuals dividing the cost of a road trip, which doesn’t usually involve intracity travel — Tripda probably will not be butting heads with regulators the way Uber and others have (especially in Philadelphia).
“We are just providing a platform,” said Vaxman.
Though she differentiates Tripda from the ride-for-hire companies, Vaman does credit the “sharing economy” vision with opening up the public to services like Tripda.
“Now is really the right time to do something like this,” she said.
Tripda was cofounded by two New York-based and two Brazil-based entrepreneurs and is backed by the Berlin ecommerce investor Rocket Internet.
Tripda had its beta launch in mid-November in the U.S., where it is focusing on certain cities in the Northeast and Midwest, particularly popular youth destinations like Boston and D.C.
The company is also preparing to raise a Series A round with the help of U.S. investors, said Vaxman.
Tripda expanded here after earning its chops in countries like Brazil, India and Taiwan. It has hired student brand ambassadors at George Washington University and George Mason University.-30-