Homegrown Business: Zelani, Co-Founder of RideAlike

RideAlike is a Canadian company that offers a vehicle-sharing marketplace for both owners and renters. We spoke with Zelani, Co-Founder, to find out more about them.

RideAlike

What is your business called and what does it do?

We are RideAlike a Canadian company that offers the ultimate vehicle sharing marketplace for both owners and renters. Owners can enjoy extra income to offset their operating expenses, while anyone can have access to a car, SUV, truck or van for a few hours or several days. This innovative platform is committed to converting the vehicle owner’s biggest depreciating asset into a value-generating revenue driver.

What made you want to do this work?

Over time I realized that a lot of people often want or need to drive various types of cars, are not aware of cost-effective options, and many rent a vehicle when they have one or two cars in their possession. As such, they made decisions that resulted in sub-optimal financial impacts, i.e. changing cars frequently, leaving their car sitting idle for hours/days/weeks at a time, borrowing cars from friends which may create unexpected risks and liabilities in the event of an accident. Hence the concept of RideAlike – Share, Rent & Swap Vehicles.

With my Airbnb SuperHost experience, and our co-founders’ Innovation and Financial expertise, we set out to create RideAlike – keeping Canadians’ financial health, convenience, and emotional desire in check.

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

RideAlike is helping both renters and vehicle owners:

1. People often need or want to rent a specific vehicle, from a nearby location, in a convenient way and at a fair price. Traditional car rental companies often lack all of the above.

2. Vehicle owners incur significant expenses to maintain a vehicle that typically depreciates to $0 over 12 to 15 years. We help them earn income to offset these expenses and/or save for a financial goal.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

We are initially targeting Urban professionals between the ages of 25 to 35. As we grow we will expand our Marketing reach to all Ontarians who need access to different types of vehicles for their various convenience and emotional desires.

How does your business make money? How does it work?

RideAlike’s business model is simple: Vehicle owners and renters will rent or swap through the platform.

RideAlike will charge a 5% service fee from renters and 30% from vehicle owners. In the swap scenario, it’s a straight 30% charge of the car rental amount. These fees contribute to cover the cost of Insurance, Roadside Assistance and Operations.

Trust is also a key component of our business model: RideAlike offers $2M liability insurance, 24/7 roadside assistance and committed customer support. We also have rigid requirements to verify every user and vehicle, before they can transact, to protect the RideAlike community and its members.

For convenience, RideAlike is available on multiple platforms: iOS, Android and Web App.

Where in the city can we find your profession?

RideAlike started its operation in Ontario, Canada on July 2nd, 2021. We are building a trusted community where members Share, Rent & Swap vehicles with other like-minded individuals. At this moment, our value-added service is available to all Ontarians who are over 21, G Class license holders and have a decent driving record.

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.

The most commonly asked question is how does the Insurance work? Will my personal Insurance be at risk if there is any unforeseen scenario?

RideAlike has secured its own commercial liability insurance. When vehicles are rented through RideAlike, they are fully covered by RideAlike’s insurance, and vehicle owners’ personal insurance is NOT at risk.

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

The best part is that we created a venture keeping three fundamental concepts in highest priority:

1. Build a trusted community of members who can safely transact, who believe in the sharing economy, want to help reduce our carbon footprint for a better environment, and give back through our donation to charities of a share of our revenues.

2. Helping vehicle owners make better use of their assets and helping contribute to their financial goals.

3. Helping renters/swappers to fulfill the need/emotional desire of driving various vehicles in a fully digital way, from local communities as we scale, at competitive pricing and with no subscription fee.

The most challenging part is to build awareness and comfort about sharing, and RideAlike’s value proposition. This requires us to test various marketing tactics, platforms and content to help individuals understand this new concept of sharing, related mitigants of perceived risks, our unique swapping capability and all the financial benefits to both renters and vehicle owners.

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

We built a marketplace that is an Airbnb AND Tinder model for vehicles. How cool is that! 🙂

Where can we follow you?

To learn more about us, we invite you to visit us on:

Facebook | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram | Twitter

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?

RITUAL.

I absolutely love this business and how they are helping to build the Canadian economy by helping the local restaurants and coffee shops. Amazing business model, that is expanding fast well beyond Canada.