Rideshare, car share, bike share – there’s a lot of shared models in cities, but it really hasn’t made a dent in car ownership. Today’s guest could change that! In this episode, I interview Ezra Goldman, the cofounder of Upshift, a fractional car leasing company. Upshift car club will deliver you a hybrid RAV4 SUV or Prius on the days you need to drive, and take care of all the hassles of car ownership on the days you don’t. Interested? Make sure to take a listen!
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Intro to Ezra Goldman
- Co-founder of Upshift Cars, a fractional car start up in San Francisco
- Provides you pretty much everything you need for accessing a vehicle – makes it easy!
- Cofounded a dockless bikeshare in 1999
- Gave hundreds of rides as a driver while he bootstrapped Upshift – informed how he hires with Upshift
How Upshift Came About
- In San Francisco, most people use their cars infrequently
- Upshift would completely replace car trips – reduce them, encourage bike usage, etc.
- Could remove on-street parking and replace it with parklets, more walkability, etc.
- Encourages more trip-chaining (combining trips, more efficient)
What is Upshift
- You subscribe based on how much you drive
- When you book, you get a hybrid RAV 4 or Prius
- You can use the vehicle for a few hours or a few days
- When done, park it and walk away – Upshift handles maintenance, etc.
- Think of it as a car club for the masses – fractional lease
Balancing the Marketplace: Breaking Out the Numbers
- Small number of members per car
- You could get more members per vehicle, but you run the risk of not having enough cars for the most popular days
- Weekends are most popular
- Now, with the pandemic, more people are requesting mid-week too
Raising Money on Republic
- Wants to expand in San Francisco and go nationwide
- Has raised $2M in total so far
- Building two companies at once
- Software side and car sharing side
What Makes Upshift Different
- If you’re in management, you need to know how to do everything yourself
- Everyone is an owner – stake in the company
- Providing upward mobility for frontline workers
- Take frontline workers sides
- Having a diverse team
- Learned from his time driving for Uber – saw how unfair and capricious it could be
- Thanks to Ezra for coming on the podcast and sharing his insight into the mobility space – and Upshift
- I invested in Upshift after our interview – very interested in this
- Take a look at the show notes below for links if you’re interested as well