Ah, the road trip. How I love to cruise down open roads with the top down or a trunk filled with camping equipment, belting out American rock classics, stopping at drive-thrus and detouring at every whim. If only I had a car.
In addition to junk food, radio, and view points, wheels and companions are perhaps the most important elements of a road trip. Startup Ridejoy launched an iOS app today to bring together people looking to share rides for long distance journeys.
Ridejoy is a marketplace that connects drivers with passengers. Members of the community create profiles with photos, bios, reviews, references, and a list of mutual friends on Facebook. This way you can evaluate potential car companions before embarking on a lengthy and close-quartered adventure.
At any given time, around 3,000 rides are available and hundreds of new rides are posted every day. With the iOS app, users can offer and find rides while on the go. They can receive notifications of possible matches, browse through popular destinations, coordinate journeys, view itineraries, and pay and share costs, all from their smartphone.
The app will also have an autopilot feature, which will automatically find and confirm well-matched rides for you.
The company’s emphasis on the social aspect of carpooling and long-distance journeys distinguishes it from car sharing services like Zipcar or Getaround, which are more about access to wheels than a joint adventure. Ridejoy’s major competitor is Zimride, which capitalizes on existing social, university, or corporate networks to make connections.
Ridejoy was founded in 2011 and received $1.3 million in seed funding 6 months ago from Freestyle Capital, as well as Lerer Ventures, Start Fund, SV Angel, Founder Collective, and Y Combinator.
It currently has six employees and is based in San Francisco.