There’s a lot of exciting action in collaborative consumption, much of it being inspired by the early success of carsharing and ridesharing networks. After hitting 100 million miles served last year, Zimride is now one of the biggest online ridesharing companies in North America. Today, the startup is announcing the release of the mobile version of Zimride .com, a mobile-optimized version of its online service, which will, among other things, enable users to receive and send messages, view user profiles, search for, post and book new rides.
The mobile service’s launch coincides with this year’s Coachella Music Festival — which takes place April 13-15 in Indio, Calif. — as the startup has been named Coachella’s exclusive ridesharing partner. (It’s also the exclusive ridesharing partner for the Bonnaroo music festival.)
For those unfamiliar, the FbFund recipient launched three years ago to give college, university and corporate communities the ability to join networks built around those communities to facilitate and coordinate carpooling and ridesharing.
The startup allows users to connect via Facebook to promote authenticity, at which point they’re encouraged to share personal information on their profiles, like their occupation, favorite music and interests, to build trust around their on Zimride identities. Before accepting a rider, a driver can view the person’s profile, mutual Facebook friends, etc. to ensure that they’re comfortable with their potential co-pilots.
Zimride’s new mobile version brings these features to mobile, with the added benefit of being able to search and book carpools while on the go. Zimride Co-founder and COO John Zimmer tells us that the startup has facilitated over 26,000 carpools, saving users over $50 million in vehicle operating expenses collectively, and now has more than 350,000 registered users.
To build on this traction by bringing its platform to mobile, Zimride hired LinkedIn Mobile Product and Design Lead Frank Yoo, who joined the team to lead its mobile web launch. Yoo was also formerly a UI Design Consultant at Plancast and a UI designer at Yahoo.
Zimride now offers rides in 42 states and territories in North America. For more on the service, check it out at home here. Mobile launch video below: