You could say Zoomy is zooming along. The homegrown rideshare company is pressing down on the business growth accelerator with some imposing figures.
While not an international phenomenon like Uber, Zoomy has seen some exponential growth, says founder James Fisk, for simple reasons: they are a Kiwi brand who care about their drivers and are committed to keeping the profits in the country. They say they are also cheaper for passengers in terms of minimum fare, base and per km rates.
Fisk says Zoomy has experienced record month-on-month growth and attracted some significant investors. Revenue has increased by 400 per cent in the last 24 months, with rides increasing by a whopping 620 per cent in the last 24 months.
Zoomy currently have 3500 drivers in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch and are adding between 50-100 every week – and Fisk says drivers are embracing the Kiwi company as they get a little more in their pocket each ride.
The company was founded by Fisk as a taxi booking app but morphed into its current rideshare form when they realised the ridesharing economy was here to stay. Formerly located in Auckland and Wellington, they have just launched in Christchurch and have plans to spread the service throughout the country.
The Christchurch launch is an interesting one for the rideshare industry – and consumers. No one is quite sure whether the city can sustain three rideshare operators (Ola recently launched there as well, joining Uber) and several traditional taxi companies, all competing for the same ride.
Fisk says the Christchurch launch has been a success so far: "The ride numbers are tracking really well. We were well prepared from our local experience in Wellington and Auckland and engaged with the drivers more positively than the competition.
Fisk says Zoomy is more cost-effective for passengers while the biggest point of difference is the commission rates they charge drivers.
"Zoomy charges 15 per cent, as opposed to Uber which typically charges 28 per cent. Multiply that difference by several hundred rides and it is significant."
Fisk says drivers are enthusiastic in their support of the company as they get to keep far more of the money they earn. Zoomy does not demand exclusivity from its drivers but expects their loyalty from these better rates, local focus, and developing a sense of community.
When it comes to passengers, efficiency is almost as important as cost.
" Fisk says that pick-up speeds are increasing and that this is a Zoomy priority.
The more drivers they have, the better this is becoming in all the centres Zoomy services. Fisk says that is the way ridesharing should work – a win for both riders and drivers.
He says making money in ride sharing is "a long game". Zoomy is up against some pretty deep pockets from off-shore competitors and much higher fares from traditional point-to-point taxi providers.
But Fisk believes Zoomy is finding a better long-term solution for both riders and drivers and their growth is evidence of that.