Sometimes entrepreneurship is about reinventing the wheel, when the world needs a better model.
David Yohros, founder of Tripper, believes that’s the case in today’s ride-sharing wars, where options may be plentiful but aren’t right for all segments of the market. His says his new company, Tripper, will only use experienced drivers (10 years or more) and newer, upscale vehicles. The drivers and their vehicles will be checked and monitored more aggressively for safety than the processes used by current ride-share companies. Tripper will pay drivers fairly and will incentivize their loyalty — because happy drivers mean happy customers.
The concept earned Yohros the third-place position in the FIU Track of the Miami Herald 2019 Pitch Competition.
Tripper’s service will be priced slightly higher than Uber and Lyft, although it will be discounted in initial promotions. Yohros believes his target market will be business professionals, women and families, and high-end venues and events.
Was your last Uber driver just a little too chatty? Didn’t care for the tunes in your Lyft? Yohros says passenger preferences will be part of the riders’ profiles and drivers will aim to please.
“We feel confident that we can grab market share from customers who want a nicer car to pick them up and want to feel more at ease with the drivers. In addition, there is a segment of the market that feels better that their drivers are properly compensated,” Yohros said. “Tripper will change the way drivers are treated, with respect and consideration.”
With the ride-sharing market projected to reach $260 billion by 2030, according to Goldman Sachs, Yohros believes there is plenty of room for newcomers. “Uber and Lyft made a lot of mistakes over their last nine years – they were learning. We have the advantage that we are learning from their mistakes. The two companies will be pressured to show profits, so ride costs will go up. We don’t foresee a price war coming our way.”
Yohros graduated from FIU in business administration, international finance and marketing. His first job in technology was at Computerland; since then, he has started and run tech companies in wholesaling and exporting, including as an exclusive distributor for Intel in Latin America. He currently runs Kivo USA, a company specialized in providing security technology solutions for private companies.
Yohros developed the idea for Tripper while researching another business opportunity involving a ride-share software company in India. He’s now using the concept for Tripper.
Tripper does not have employees yet but plans to begin hiring in June. It has eight advisors from the banking/finance, marketing, legal and investment worlds, including Greg Levine, Federico Gil, Saadia Lancry and Roberto Elovic.
Tripper is just about ready to roll, Yohros says. The platform is built, the apps for Apple and Android have been developed, and Tripper (tripper.us) has been on-boarding drivers. The startup plans to launch a pilot this summer to further test the platform with real customers; it expects to fully launch the service in the fall. Yohros is working with an investment banker on its fund-raising strategy.
Unlike the ride-sharing giants, Yohros’ goal is profitability within 24 months.