The four-year-old carpooling app Scoop has racked up another $60 million in investments, bringing its total fundraising to more than $100 million ($106 million, to be exact). With that financial injection, the startup is hoping a rideshare model that works directly with employers can help secure its spot in the ever-more-crowded sector of transportation apps.
"If you look across the U.S. you've got lots of communities that are becoming more congested, commutes are getting longer as a result, real estate is also getting more expensive," co-founder and CEO Rob Sadow told Cheddar. "That means companies are looking for ways to increase the density of their space, to reduce trips back and forth to the office."
Unlike traditional carpooling, Scoop users book their rides the day before and can arrange morning and evening trips with separate groups. As employees request trips, Scoop's systems match drivers and users together who are traveling at similar times to nearby locations.
"We help enterprises solve those types of challenges, reduce their real estate needs for parking, reduce the impact of the commute on retention, [and] improve their sustainability," Sadow added. "We're going to use that capital to continue to push that forward."
"If you think about carpooling historically — without technology — it's really difficult to have to go home at the same time everyday, or go to work at the same time every day, to have to go with the same person back and forth," he said. "We built the experience to be flexible and dynamic."
Instead of selling trips to individual consumers, as rideshare giants Uber and Lyft do, Scoop has focused on working directly with enterprises. Scoop says it has already partnered with 55 companies, including LinkedIn and T-Mobile, to provide its services to their commuting employees.
He said that Scoop both reaches out to companies about its services and vice versa.
"Our enterprise partners pay us based on the number of trips their employees take," explains Sadow. "In the car, anyone can choose to ride or drive. But we don't actually take any piece of that transaction. A rider can contribute to the cost, the driver gets a reimbursement. We help facilitate it, but our revenue comes from the employer."
That means that, unlike other rideshare apps, Scoop doesn't rely on independent contractors.
Of course, that doesn't mean Scoop is the only startup hoping to make a home for itself in the tech -forward carpooling space. There's also RideAmigos, Carma Carpooling, and Hitch, among others.
Still, there are signs Scoop has secured a good foundation. The company says it now operates in 2,000 cities, and that commuters have made more than 7 million trips using its app.