Australian ride-sharing app Mobi has been given a lift with a financial boost from NEM Ventures – the investment arm of the NEM blockchain system.
The Melbourne-based start-up, which partners with the city’s large employers to allow them to implement the carpooling app internally, is currently in its post-trial refinement stage, and will be available on iOS and Android devices at the end of this year.
The company was launched in a bid to help reduce carbon emissions and traffic congestion by putting more people in fewer cars.
David Mansell, co-founder and director of NEM Ventures, explained the Mobi project caught his eye with its ability to deploy blockchain for social change.
“By incorporating NEM Catapult, Mobi is able to utilise the protocol’s many features to provide an enhanced app experience for commuters,” he said.
“We are always looking for ways to utilise blockchain to promote social change, which is what drew us to this project in the first place.
“Mobi aims to further the sustainability agenda with a focus on creating long-term shareholder value while driving home the fact that profitability is not a trade-off for sustainability.”
The app allows commuters to pre-arrange car sharing up to a week in advance by selecting which dates and times they require. They can also have control over who they choose to ride with before both parties connect in advance via a chat function while funds are held in escrow.
Mobi also plans to build an incentive-driven partner network to enable businesses to connect employees for their commuting needs.
Daniel Logan, Mobi’s co-founder, said the app enjoyed both worlds of peer-to-peer transactions whilst actively reducing pollution.
“In Melbourne, the first city on our roadmap, there are approximately 2.1 million commuters and 1.3 million car drivers,” he explained.
“Mobi bridges this gap by creating a convenient and affordable way to make commuting a more positive experience for all.
“The app creates a sustainable solution which can help limit carbon emissions and travel congestion, as well as free up much-needed parking spaces across densely populated cities.
“NEM allows this to happen more transparently, efficiently, and cost effectively, and we are happy to partner with the community strategically.”
Mobi currently has a minimum viable product (MVP) tested with a live pilot of around 200 users as well as confirmed partnerships with three major universities across Australia giving access to 40,000 potential users to begin scaling.
Mr Logan added: “NEM is built around a powerful system which provides us with direct API access to a specialised set of tested and secure on-blockchain features, and we are aligned in our mission to bring sustainable ride-sharing to the masses.”