Newly launched lift-sharing startup SKOOT, has raised over £1.6m in funding to provide an alternative to public transport, connecting friends who drive, with friends who need a lift.
As a result of changing transport habits, the UK start-up is on a mission to build a global social network to fulfil friends’ mobility needs, enabling them to travel together in a safe, carbon-negative way, at the touch of a button.
Founded in August 2019, SKOOT is the brainchild of entrepreneur Greg Gormley (Founder of loyalty app Bink), who built the app to make the lift-sharing experience easier, safer and more affordable than ever before.
The app has been designed to tackle the societal mobility crises facing the country; rising cost of motoring, disappearing bus routes and now COVID-related issues of public transport and has launched its free app on iOS and Android (pre-order) this week.
SKOOT plants a tree every three rides taken. It cleverly links friends and maps the best travel route, enables auto collection of payment for petrol and running costs, and then carbon offsets the whole journey.
When a driver registers their car on the app, a check is completed with the DVLA to ensure the car is roadworthy, along with scanning in to check they have a valid driving licence, and identify the CO2 rating of the vehicle. This allows SKOOT to calculate the exact CO2 created every month and pay for the offset to the tune of 110% with each passenger contributing 5p per trip.
Greg Gormley, CEO of SKOOT said, “It’s never been more expensive to run a car – nor harder to get around, with the reduction in public transport routes, people not wanting to travel on buses, trains and tubes or even use ride-hailing apps due to COVID.
“SKOOT provides a simple lift-sharing solution to help solve these issues, without any need for the driver to have specialist car insurance or the rider to be concerned with whom they are being picked up by. We connect friends who drive with friends looking for lifts and take away the awkwardness of those conversations by automating pricing, collecting monies in app and enabling route planning, making it much simpler and fairer for everyone all in real-time, whilst being much cheaper than any alternatives”.
The founding team alongside Gormley includes; Mark Stringer, Co-founder and CMO (Founder of communications agency PrettyGreen), Alex Browne, CTO (ex-Bink Chief Architect) and Ashish Devi-King (Founder of specialist auto-tech M&A and capital raising firm Ridgeback Partners).
Mark Stringer, CMO and Co-founder of SKOOT added,“We’ve founded SKOOT to not only help solve a huge societal issue around mobility, but to do it in a way that feels more equal for everyone involved.
“We want to ensure that riders, drivers and anyone who has an association with SKOOT all enjoy win-win travel, which includes planting a tree, on average, after every 3 journeys to be the first and only lift-sharing app to be actually carbon negative meaning the more journeys undertaken with SKOOT the better it is for the planet. This negative offset even includes staff members’ carbon footprint, with one of their benefits paying for their families offset, meaning the whole business is totally carbon negative from its inception – and always will be.”
The start-up has grown rapidly, and now employs 12 full time staff, and following a UK launch, plans to expand across Europe, North America, Canada and Australia.
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