Technology + carpooling = a winning combination, right? So far, not so much. A number of carpooling apps and platforms have popped up in Latin America and all over the world, and so far, they’re not exactly proving revolutionary. Mexico’s Aventones remains afloat, but Argentina’s Poolami, for example, is history. Will new player Hagamospool.com be able to make it? The team is hoping so.
Founded by Marcos Alvarado and Juan Pablo Villani, both from Argentina, Hagamospool is a carpooling platform that connects drivers and riders. Users sign up using their Facebook accounts and start sharing rides.
So what makes this solution different? For one thing, the team has had the luxury of looking into why similar projects failed. Alvarado said they’ve identified two main issues, one having to do with trust and safety, and the other with marketing and communications.
On the trust front, Hagamospool works with an angorithm that provides users references for potential carpoolers – in other words, it draws from their social network contacts to find connections. At the same time, it creates micro-tag groups when rides are published.
With respect to marketing and communications, the Hagamospool team is working to develop relationships with institutions and organizations, who can promote the free service to their communities, clients and employees. Fifteen organizations are already supporting the project and spreading the word.
In terms of business model, the startup doesn’t have it all figured out – an issue that has dogged similar projects as well. “For the short to medium term, we aim to grow with a B2B business model based on sponsors,” Alvarado explained. “But our goal in the future is to use the transactional B2C model that is very common in these kinds of projects in other countries.”
Hagamospool is just getting up and running – it launched the site just over two weeks ago and has only published about 50 trips. Moving ahead, it is working to increase the number of rides published and make more matches through web traffic and social media. “We want to be the Latin American Blablacar. We know we have much work to do, but the opportunity is too great to ignore,” Alvarado affirmed.
Will Hagamospool succeed where most others have not? It’s much to early to tell.