Australian-based travel marketplace Jayride.com has lined up $400,000 AUD in seed funding for its ride-sharing service, which also aggregates transportation data. The angel funding was led by Andrey Shirben, one of the first investors in Kenshoo, a digital marketing software company. In addition to helping in the financing, Shirben will also bring his digital marketing expertise to assist the company, as well as connect Jayride with other players in the global travel sector.
Compared with other current ride-sharing and carpooling startups, Jayride’s unique angle is to provide a single interface for finding all your transportation options, including commercial transport, and combining that data with the available ride-sharing options. This way, travelers will never be in a situation where they research a route and end up without options. Instead, when there are no ride-shares found on your planned route, Jayride will show you bus schedules, shuttles, relocation cars and other transportation options.
Shirben tells us that the angel round was supposed to be for $350,000 AUD, but after he put his money in, it became overbooked by 30-40%. Within a year, Jayride plans to raise another round led by a U.S. VC firm, as it prepares to expand its geographical transport data coverage.
“Jayride is the only land-transport marketplace attacking ride-sharing this way,” says Shirben of the startup’s transport data aggregation play. “There are many ride-sharing startups around the world, but almost every one fails this simple UX test: if you search from point A to point B outside a main thoroughfare, you find no search results. This is the main limitation of ride-sharing today.”
Shirben says that after meeting the Jayride founding team, and following up over the course of a few months, the decision to invest was an easy one. “Great team, disruptive idea, lots of business potential in a huge market,” he remarks.
Founded in 2008 by Rod Bishop and Ross Lin as a carpooling site, Jayride made the move to aggregate all travel data last fall. The service currently supports Australia, New Zealand, and is coming soon to the U.K. and Ireland.