Contents:

4 min read

    4 min read

    I’ve always thought it would be a multi-million dollar idea to start a company that specializes in on demand/rideshare software.  And although Uber and Lyft dominate the rideshare scene today, there are still a whole host of competitors looking to take their market share.  Some companies like Juno are more driver friendly and others like Wingz specialize in scheduled rides, but their apps all work pretty much the same.  Customers request a ride with the tap of a button and a driver gets the request and drives to them and drops them off.

    I’m obviously simplifying the process but it’s clear that all of the rideshare apps are becoming more similar as the years go on.  Today’s guest has actually built and exited two rideshare companies in Europe and is now licensing the very technology that runs all of these platforms to up and coming companies in the United States.  I don’t know much about building an app but in today’s interview we dive into everything it takes to launch a new company from the technology side and we even talk about how much it costs.

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    If you’d like to read a transcript of this podcast, please click here.

    Have you ever wondered how the technology behind rideshare apps works? Meet George Grama in this month's podcast!

    Intro

    • We’re up to episode 50! Thanks so much for sticking around, welcome to our new listeners and, as always, please leave me feedback – whether you love it or hate it!
    • Today we’ll be talking with George Grama, not a driver but a guy behind a lot of the technology in our on-demand apps
    • If you’re interested in starting a tech company or using the technology to start your own business, this podcast should hopefully give you a lot of useful info
    • Let me know in the comments if you have more questions we didn’t cover!
    • Missed an episode of one of our podcasts? Click here

    An Interview With George Grama

    • George is a former financial consultant turned entrepreneur
    • Founded two rideshare companies outside the US
    • Now lives in LA and runs a software development agency
    • Started paying attention to Uber and the ability to hail rides from your phone in 2011, taxi companies didn’t want anything to do with it, so started to build the technology on his own

    Developing On-Demand Technology

    • In 2011, on-demand ride hailing technology was in its infancy. Through a combination of technology and hiring taxi drivers for their expertise, Star Taxi became very successful and branched out to other countries from there
    • Always focused on technology first and bringing in a good technology team
    • Could hire managers and consultants to manage, but having a good technology team first was key

    Moving to the US and Mobile Software Development

    • After selling the companies, kept the intellectual property rights
    • Currently lives in LA and works with in-demand companies, his company provides the backbone and the technology
    • One of the most challenging things is monitoring and connecting thousands and thousands of drivers – it looks seamless on your phone, but it’s pretty complex internally
    • Many people are working on some form of ridesharing application, but it makes a lot of sense for a company to provide the engineering background and let companies focus on operations, logistics, etc. to stand out

    Current Company and Plans

    • Softbit Technologies
    • Overall provides software for on-demand companies, but most of the clients are interested in the rideshare business
    • Many clients are first-time entrepreneurs or entrepreneurs who’ve built businesses before and are now interested in this space
    • Instead of hiring developers and having them work for 9-12 months on functionality, can hire his company and have any design you want, app functionality all within 2 months
    • Price depends on what you’re looking for, roughly $200,000 to start and up from there

    Getting Started as a Rideshare Entrepreneur

    • If you’re thinking of starting your own rideshare business, the first step is to validate your idea: target customers, what problems you’re looking to solve, etc.
    • Softbit works with entrepreneurs and investors throughout the process
    • There’s a lot of opportunity in this space, and a lot of things to come we can’t even predict

    Outro

    • A lot of these questions I had on my own and was curious to see what’s out there
    • Interesting to see the mechanics of what’s going on behind the apps, and who the people are who work on the back-end parts of apps we use everyday
    • A lot of people want to know what it’s like to start a rideshare company, and I’ve been able to connect a lot of people with George and his business
    • Connect with George Grama at Softbit Technologies here
    • Interested in working with the Rideshare Guy? Check out our consulting page
    • Feel free to reach out to me at harry[at]therideshareguy.com or follow me on Twitter @TheRideShareGuy
    • Leave comments, questions and feedback below!

    If you’d like to read a transcript of this podcast, please click here.

    Drivers, what do you think about the software behind all these apps and what it takes to build it?

    -Harry @ RSG

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    Harry Campbell

    Harry Campbell

    I'm Harry, the owner and founder of The Rideshare Guy Blog and Podcast. I used to be a full-time engineer but now I'm a rideshare blogger! I write about my experience driving for Uber, Lyft, and other services and my goal is to help drivers earn more money by working smarter, not harder.

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