People often prefer driving on their own rather than requesting to someone else or by public transport. Whether it is for a road trip or exploring a new city 60-70 percent of people like to self-drive. ZipHop is an online platform for booking self-drive vehicles. It has led some ventures to open up where people can quickly hire a car for self-drive.
ZipHop is one such startup which provides an online platform to book self-drive bikes and cars. Starting off from Goa in December, this team has expanded its services to six other cities. There a range of bikes are available on the platform depending upon the needs and choices of people like Harley Davidsons, Honda Activas, SUVs, etc.
How did it start?
The idea first came up in the mind of Apoorv Agrawal, one of the founders. When he shifted base to Mumbai, he realized that it would be difficult to get an auto back to the last mile to his home. One day, when he saw many people commute by bikes, that’s when he got an idea of a great solution for this situation. He thought of starting a rental vehicle service; that would serve people who need a last minute commute as well as to those who want cars for weekend getaways. Apoorv had helped Asian Paints, Mahindra and Mahindra and Tata Steel in the past.
He talked about this project with his friend Ankit Chaturvedi. At that time, Ankit was serving Asian Paints as Brand Manager. The two of them then began working on the start up and put up a team in two months. They were joined by Ankit’s childhood friend Sumit Hablani and Apoorv’s friend Dushyant Singh. Sumit’s college friend Sudhanshu Saxena also acceded to the team.
A major problem faced by the ZipHop team was the task of organizing a highly fragmented market and tracking real-time availability of vehicles and updating it on the website. They had to manually enter the vehicle model, registration number, and the user’s name and address into a register. They overcame this challenge by creating a partner app which allows them to check the availability status of vehicles and display it on the website without the need for any manual intervention.
How it Works?
Once a customer chooses a vehicle from the shop, that vehicle gets blocked by the vendor on the partner app. The app is instantly synced with the website. According to the team, a big differentiator for the market is bringing all partners to a common platform to update their vehicle. The partners are charged a commission for every transaction.
The user chooses the vehicle type and the city where he wishes to hire. The users then click the Choose button after he had chosen the date, time. He has displayed a list of vehicles with pickup locations and the vendor’s terms and conditions. The users are allowed to filter their choices by vehicle type or location.
The Bottom Line
The self-drive concept is already popular in the US and China. The online automobile market received a significant amount of investments last year.