For years, carpooling has been a great way to cut commute costs while minimizing environmental footprint. It’s a concept with which we’re all familiar, and one that has seen its fair share of apps, but beyond a few new paint-jobs on cheesewagons, not much innovation has come around for carpooling specifically in the kids lane.
Neighbor is a startup aiming to make the carpooling game a bit easier and more reliable for families by providing an app that provides personalized travel arrangement options, as well as ride scheduled and tracking.
The app is designed to work in a few simple steps. Users first set their itinerary by entering the time, address, and information of children for the trip. Whether it’s a one-off or recurring trip, users can keep their essential information stored in the app. Once an itinerary is submitted, Neighbor’s proprietary algorithms works to understand the needs and preferences of the riders (the children) based on scheduling, routine, age, interests, and so on.
Once the app finds a family that matches, it sends out introductions via text message. Once the match and intro is made, parents are required to complete a trial carpool to ensure compatibility.
When a ride is in progress parents can view the driver’s location in real-time along with an estimated time of arrival.
Unlike on-demand ride sharing services, Neighbor doesn’t rely on part-time drivers who work for money. Instead, the platform is powered by parents who drive for the love of their kids, their families, and their communities. Rather than assigning different drivers for each ride, the goal of the service is to match families for consistency and safety. In addition to carpooling support, the Community feature of the app enables families to socialize outside of rides, encouraging to discover and engage in other family-friendly activities.
Neighbor users are not currently subject to background checks; that is currently in the works and an announcement will be released when the capabilities are added. Users are, however, required to verify their emails and phone numbers before using the service.
Neighbor is currently free for iOS and Android devices and is available in select areas, in 23 different languages–according to the company FAQ, “The best way to know if Neighbor is available in your area is to download the app and sign up…” The Santa Clara, CA-based company was founded in 2016 and have thus far secured a $1 million seed round from an undisclosed number of investors.
Charles Costa is a marketing specialist helping technology companies grow, one word at a time. You can learn more at CharlesCosta.net