Briefly introduce yourself?
My name is Fabrice Ruscoe, I am the co-founder and CEO of RYDD (Request Your Designated Driver)
What is the name of your app and the story behind it?
Our app is called RYDD and it allows you to request a designated driver at the touch of a button. A number of e-hailing apps have revolutionised the metered taxi industry, making it easy, convenient and affordable to hail a cab. We wanted to bring the same ease of use to the designated driving industry by creating an app that pairs a user with the closest designated driver.
What problem is your mobile application solving?
We wanted to reduce the prevalence of drinking and driving by providing an easy way to request a designated driver to get you and your car home safely after a night out. Using a taxi service is always a good option to avoid getting behind the wheel after a few drinks but it’s not always the most practical option. It often means you have to leave your vehicle overnight at a venue, with the inconvenience of having to get back to it in the morning. The other option is to take a taxi there and back, but a two-way trip can be costly. With RYDD, you can request a designated driver and the app will pair you with the closest available driver.
What is the app’s Unique Selling Proposition?
There is no membership required to use the service and it also allows you to track your driver coming to you in real-time. Your trip home is tracked and you are billed according to the distance travelled and the time taken to complete your trip.
How is the app monetised?
The cost of an RYDD is determined by how far and how long the RYDD takes. Clients are billed a base fare of R50 plus a rate of R10 per kilometre and R1 per minute. Seventy-five percent of the fare is paid to the driver with twenty-five percent going to RYDD.
Name the development team behind the app and their roles?
Bradley Goulding – Lead developer Mobile & Stuart Jack – Lead developer back end.
Talk to us about the Minimum Viable Product phase, what features did you launch the app with?
We have launched the app with full-service functionality. These include the ability to book RYDD’s, manage your payment methods, add favourite venues such as home, work etc, view your entire RYDD trip history, submit an account and RYDD support requests & earn RYDD credits by inviting friends to join RYDD.
Walk us through your beta testing phase…how did you recruit users?
We created test teams by leveraging off an existing driver base as well as our personal networks of users to test over 1,000 actual RYDD trips. Our testing covered every scenario from both the user and drivers perspectives.
What was the app’s breakthrough?
From a technical perspective, implementing the application as a function of user state, and treating the apps and interactions as a means to alter the user’s current state. This made keeping all devices in sync much simpler, and secondly gave the option of recovery paths, to gracefully handle error flows.
What challenges have you faced in the life of app and how were they solved?
The main challenge was having the app designed around 2 details, realtime location tracking, and realtime notifications. The app then had to be built with the knowledge that clients could disable one or both of these and expect the application to still work.
The second challenge, while related to the first, is also related to mobile apps in general, and that is the fact that as the app developer, we have no control over or visibility of client devices and potentially conflicting apps. This means the app has to built to be highly resilient, and telemetry provided to allow insight into critical paths that could potentially harm the user experience.
How many downloads has the app recorded to date?
The app was launched in JHB on the 1st of February. By the 12th of February, the app had been downloaded by over 100 users.
What are the future plans for the app?
The app was launched in JHB but the plan is to bring the app to the other major cities in South Africa soon. We also have plans to launch RYDD in other international markets.
If you were to sell app today, what is the market value?
We obviously know what the development time and costs have been but to be honest, we’re really not sure of the market value. We’ll have a better idea once we have a few months of download and usage data.
How do potential users access the app?
The RYDD app is available in both IOS in the App Store as well Android in the Play Store. The driver version is available in the Google Play Store.