80% of drivers responded positively to having a passenger during travel. Benefits to drivers: a travel companion, financial reimbursement at approximately $0.26/mile, a connection back with society, and a reward system. As a traveler, imagine being able to travel between cities inexpensively and directly. Or imagine catching a ride with a driver at your local Wal-Mart and taken to another across the city. Travelers are limited to a 4-hour or 300-mile trip, so there is never any burden on the driver, and are covered by a separate insurance policy.
Trucking is Rewarding | Not Boring
The application is in the final stages of completion. Our development team is working out some final bugs, and then we will begin testing the application in-house. When we are satisfied, we will launch a beta version of the application for local testing by connecting Austin, Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio (all in Texas and all within a few hours of each other). We will then begin pre-registering drivers and travelers to build a community. Our national launch date is projected mid-2021. At that time, we will also begin introducing the application in foreign markets that have shown interest (India & Vietnam, currently).
We'll have two customer segments to target.
Truck drivers: More than 80% of truck drivers interviewed liked the idea of being able to quickly pick somebody up and drop them off. More than the money, the main reason was for a travel companion. We'll be targeting truck-driving schools (for market penetration)--drivers will need a certain required experience level before being allowed passengers through our application. We will also target new-generation drivers, owner-operators, and when we grow our brand, we will begin targeting partnerships with trucking companies.
Travelers: We will target students traveling home for the holidays, those traveling to music festivals, and also those that must commute across cities on public transportation. We will also seek partnerships with companies such as CouchSurfing.
Problem or Opportunity
This is mostly a new opportunity. At least in the United States, veteran truck drivers are beginning to retire. The trucking industry is having a harder time obtaining and retaining drivers from these newer generations that have a much stronger connection to people, society, social media, etc. The trucking industry has done little adapt to drivers' needs and wants. Even the U.S. military has adapted its training to be better received by this new generation.
As for the traveler, even in the United States, more and more people are becoming less stressed and more carefree. There are millions of solo travelers that are financially conservative and rely on a community. Take CouchSurfing.com. This platform used by 14 million people in 200,000 cities, offers free room and board to travelers. Imagine being able to provide those travelers with an inexpensive and safe ride between cities.
Solution (product or service)
Our application will connect truck drivers with travelers who will be picked up and dropped along the truck driver's current route of travel. Travelers will have the ability to even meet drivers at certain locations where the driver has to stop regardless. This will eliminate one, if not both additional stops if a passenger travels to the next stop for the trucker. Again, imagine knowing a truck driver's route--knowing that they make a drop-off at one business, followed by a drop-off at a second business across the city. A traveler would be able to meet at the first location and catch a ride to the second location, safely, inexpensively, and with zero impact on the supply chain.
The closest alternatives would be flights, ride-hails, taxis, rental cars, buses, and trains. They all offer different levels of inconvenience--high cost, limited routes, short-distance, special requirements, or crowds of people. There is no real close competitor that exists.
We have barriers to overcome: The status quo, resistance to change, safety concerns, and logistical concerns.
We have answers to the barriers: This isn't the 1970s anymore. It's harder to attract new drivers, especially long-haul drivers. The career choice needs to become more appealing to these generations. Truck drivers will maintain a current passenger insurance policy. This will eliminate any responsibility of the trucking company, and the passenger will be fully protected. As we begin to scale, THruck will be able to provide a blanket policy activated and deactivated in realtime. As soon as a rider is picked up, they are covered by insurance, and it ends when their trip completes and they exit the vehicle at the destination. Truck drivers AND passengers will be subject to background checks before either can become a Driver or Traveler with THruck.
Advantages or differentiators
Our platform is a hybrid between a ride-hail and a city transit system. There is nothing else like it. Working with truckers, trucking companies, distribution centers, etc., we could introduce an unlimited number of quick-stop locations for passengers to meet. The availability of our platform is 24/7 because the trucking industry never quits. If you have ever watched a highway at dawn, trucks flow through cities like flowing rivers.
Having a passenger will reducing trucking accidents caused by "spacing out" from monotony. We also strive to make driving safer by allowing many non-truck drivers to experience what it looks like driving in a big-rig. Providing this experience should begin to teach people the risks of tailgating a tractor-trailer, cutting off a tractor-trailer, and the blindspots of a tractor-trailer.
These figures were projected using a very conservative 18% revenue *$40 USD (average projected cost per ride) * our projected ride requests.
We are closely following that of Uber with the exception that our entire fleet of trucks will be leveraged. Our corporate structure only requires the basic necessities of any corporation. We won't own much in the way of assets or liabilities.
Our long-term strategy is a merger/buy-out from Uber. Imagine Uber Freight combined with the technology to transport people as well. Uber will be able to penetrate much of rural North America.
Or imagine Wal-Mart buying our company and introducing the ride-sharing platform into its company structure--being able to take riders from one Wal-Mart location to another with zero impact on its supply chain and a new global revenue stream.
Money will be spent on
75% of any money invested will be used for marketing efforts and implementing a basic corporate staff to prepare for our launch. 2.5% will be distributed equally among the three current workers as salary to cover very basic living expenses and 2.5% will be used to outfit the company with necessities to begin growing the business. The remaining 15% will be kept in reserve for standard monthly expenses, ie. internet, server, phone, etc.
Offer for investor
We are offering up to 15% of the company in seed funding. With our initial version of the application days from completion, our ability to scale globally, and high-value targets or partnership or exit, we are seeking 50.000 USD investment per 1%. 750.000 is our target to penetrate the global market.
Aside from our barriers, there is one foreseen risk that could negatively impact the future of our company, at least in the United States--that is if the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) amends or implements a regulation with specific restrictions that will render our company obsolete.
Incubation/Acceleration programs accomplishment
Newchip Accelerator Pre-Seed Cohort (2019)
Won the competition and other awards
3 Day Startup (3DS) Challenge finalist
1st Place in the National iPitch Challenge for startups winning $1500
4th Place in the final competition held through Newchip Accelerator.