Chariot, New Zealand’s first carpooling and ride sharing app, has announced it has launched an equity crowdfunding campaign.
“Chariot’s mission is to reduce the number of empty seats in cars, traffic congestion and carbon emissions by offering a platform for social ride sharing,” Chariot CEO Dr Thomas Kiefer says.
“Chariot is launching an equity crowdfunding campaign on PledgeMe so we can start filling up cars and cutting down traffic, and carbon emissions, faster.”
Chariot app users can set up rides with each other. These can be recurring, one-off short trips in the city, or long-haul intercity trips. Drivers are volunteers and can rent up to three spare seats in their cars.
Kiefer says the app will be launched by June 2015 and will be available on iOS and Android, but the first step is to raise awareness and grow a large enough user base.
“The money will be used for user acquisition to grow a viable platform and to create brand awareness as well as upscale server infrastructure and pay for other operational costs,” says Kiefer.
“Chariot will run ads on social media, online news sites, television and radio to attract users,” he says.
“With around 1000 people already signed up and waiting for the app, we’re confident we can reach our goal of acquiring a critical mass for launch.”
Chariot’s fundraising goal on PledgeMe is $200,000, which makes up 20% of the company.
"Chariots pre-money valuation is $800k and we're comfortable that the valuation reflects a fair value of the company and market position, and, more importantly, the growth potential that Chariot can offer our investors,” says Kiefer.
Kiefer says investors will get equity in the business as well as incentive rewards based on the amount they contribute.
“We’re throwing in some exciting rewards, from indoor cart racing and helicopter rides to a dinner with the Wellington Mayor and 5,000km free travel with Chariot,” he says.
PledgeMe CEO Anna Guenther says Chariot was an exciting campaign to be hosting.
“Chariot’s model needs a crowd, so what better way to kick off their company than bringing that crowd into the business,” Guenther says.
“PledgeMe is stoked to be helping Chariot raise the money they need so they can make the world a little bit of a better place and give people the opportunity share their ride.”
People can invest in Chariot here.