Sharing economy companies like RelayRides are a lot harder to build than they appear. They’re similar to peer-to-peer product marketplaces, but transactions are based on temporary usage rather than an exchange of physical ownership – which adds significant complexity. Scheduling, insurance, dispute resolution and pricing are some of the elements that need to be considered. For example, what happens if a renter doesn’t bring a car back in time, and the car is supposed to be available for someone else? How do you handle disputes if a car is damaged during a rental?
Reducing that complexity is difficult. In the early days of RelayRides, owners had to install expensive hardware to enable fully automated ride-sharing, with technology that operated a lot like ZipCar’s keycard system. Unfortunately, that added a lot of friction to the supply side of the equation, and made it difficult to bring new cars into the system. During our interview, Andre Haddad talks about how RelayRides solved that problem to unlock growth, gives a demo of how the product works today, and explains why he shares real-time performance statistics directly with his board members via an online dashboard.
DISCLOSURE: Shasta Ventures is an investor in Relay Rides.
Watch more episodes of One Lap here. Shooting, editing, and sound for One Lap by John Murillo. Produced by Colleen Taylor. Production coordination and creative direction by Felicia Williams. Motion graphics and design by Eden Soto.