HomeGermany-StartupsMunich-based Carpooling, Europe’s no. 1 ridesharing platform, debuts in US

Munich-based Carpooling, Europe’s no. 1 ridesharing platform, debuts in US

The top European ridesharing platform, Carpooling, has just announced it’s launching in the US, making door-to-door, long-distance transportation convenient and affordable (Update – May 2023: The startup seems to be no longer in business under this website, now re-directing to BlaBlaCar and we therefore deactivated the original link).

Carpooling, headquartered in Munich, was founded in 2001 as mitfahrgelegenheit.de by three students at the University of Würzburg in Germany. The platform quickly grew in popularity, as today ridesharing is one of the most popular travel options for mid- to long-distance journeys in Europe, with more than 3.5 million ridesharing offers being accessible through the carpooling app every day.

Drivers and passengers can quickly select and connect on the details of their trip via a free iOS and Android mobile app. With this launch in the US, carpooling opens its ridesharing technology to US consumers for the first time, providing an easy, safe, and social way for riders to share transportation and save money on mid- to long-distance travel.

Through a product integration with Uber, carpooling will be the first company to offer a door-to-door long-distance service in the US. Passengers can request to be picked up at home by an Uber to take them to the starting point of their carpool, and then request an Uber at the arrival point to take them to their exact destination, if needed, all from within the carpooling app.

Designed in collaboration with renowned global product strategy and design consultancy frog, the carpooling app makes finding rides and meeting up with drivers quick and intuitive. Registration and login is made easy via Facebook. Drivers then post their driving routes and times of departure. Passengers can search for available rides, compare prices and departure times, and review driver profiles. Booking a ride takes only a few seconds.

With the ‘Live Map’ feature, the passenger can see the meeting point and book an Uber, if needed, to get there. Built-in GPS functionality lets drivers and passengers easily locate one another at the agreed meeting place and time. After the ride, the driver and passenger rate each other.

Ridesharing via carpooling is unique from other platforms; carpooling ridesharing is designed specifically for longer distances (average trip is 125+ miles) and carpooling does not employ drivers or encourage driving for profit. The company and app provides a platform that enables everyday people who happen to be travelling in the same direction to contact each other and share the costs of their trips. Additionally, the carpooling app is a premium tool with value-added functionalities designed specifically to make ridesharing easy, safe, and convenient.

Markus Barnikel, CEO of carpooling says: “Our concept is simple: turn empty car seats into a cost-effective, eco-friendly, and fun mode of transportation. We recognise there won’t be an abundance of passengers and drivers connected with each other at launch, but we’re confident from more than a decade of experience in Europe that supply and demand will grow rapidly.”

By the way: You can find out about other interesting startups from Germany in this list.

Marko Srsan
Marko Srsan
founder @TimePrepCFA, blogger interested in startups and VC along with social media and project management, a drummer and a passionate FC Bayern Munchen fan :)
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