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Today, we have Justine Avoudikpon from Swifte Carpool.
I actually met her when I used her ridesharing app to ride from LA to SF and she was the driver that I got matched with. In the ~6 hours that took us to get from UCLA to the Bay, she told me more about her app and I was thrilled to see her progress. This interview was a natural extension of that interaction.
Hi Justine, what is Swifte?
SWIFTE is a ridesharing app that puts drivers with cars going from A to B in touch with riders who want to be dropped off along the way or at the same destination.
80% of Americans drive alone, we have a lot of drivers with extra space and too many cars on the road. SWIFTE is transforming the way university students and the community carpools by creating a social platform for users to SHARE the ride, SPLIT the cost, and SAVE the environment.
How long have you been working on it?
We have been working on it for a 2 years and participated in the UCLA Summer Accelerator in 2017.
How did you grow your app and users?
We were able to engage users with our swifte blogs and ownership of over 90 university ridesharing pages on Facebook, one of those being the UCLA rideshare group.
What has been your favorite moment so far?
Favorite moment thus far is our Swifte + Waze Launch last week.
How did the collaboration between Swifte and Waze come about?
During the accelerator, Swifte was able to acquire two other carpooling startups in california and texas to join the Swifte team. After the accelerator, we continued to make consistent growth every month and recently landed a co-marketing partnership with Google’s new transportation app called Waze Carpool.
I know you have some sweet offers for our readers, what are those?
Anyone that installs Waze Carpool can get 2 free rides using the code SWIFTE107.
WHY USE THE SWIFTE CODE: the code will give a second ride free (riders) OR a driver bonus (drivers). Second ride free is great because it means the new user gets a WHOLE COMMUTE (to and from school) for free!
How can riders sign up?
It just takes 3 easy steps:
- Step 1: Download Waze Carpool (iOS / Android)
- Step 2: In the app, tap Request ride & select the days you want to carpool
- Step 3: Relax in the passenger seat…commuting just got easier
Users can get rides for as low as $2, and drivers can get $30 for each new referral.
To close it off: A lot of our readers are budding female entrepreneurs, what is some advice you would like to share?
Startups are hard, and you can NOT half a** it. Unless you are 100% passionate about an idea and are willing to commit 100+ hours a week to making it come to reality, then maybe this isn’t for you. Bring on board people with the same passion, don’t be afraid to hold them to higher standards, and quickly let go the ones that aren’t performing.