I recently got the chance to speak with Nick Eggleton, who is working with his team on getting their app, Kapuddle, ready to market next month. Nick shares these thoughts with me.
//SN: Hi Nick, tell me a little about what Kapuddle is all about.
Kapuddle is an app that makes car-pooling easy. Our aim to help commuters reduce journey times and running costs, by reducing congestion through car-pooling.
//SN: So where did the idea for this come from?
The story of Kapuddle starts with three business acquaintances that lived close to each other in South Perth that decided it would be cheaper if they car-pooled: They’d only need one parking space, and they’d share the cost of fuel. Over a glass of wine one weekend they mused over an idea that if more people did the same congestion would be radically reduced and everyone would get to work quicker, on top of the cost saving.
The subsequent reduction in CO emissions would improve air quality and save lives, and reduce the burden on taxpayers to invest in ever increasing infrastructure investment. As business people they considered the challenge of how people could organise themselves to do this and realised that an ‘app’ could do the work for them.
The app would need to be easy to use, secure and give people a fair deal. After doing a little research into the problem of congestion they found that it’s a huge concern for business and has a real cost on sustainability.
//SN: Who is your perfect customer, and what problem or challenge does Kapuddle solve for them?
The perfect user is anyone that drives to work every day on congested roads. Kapuddle can save them time and / or money, with little lost convenience (and will also decrease their carbon footprint).
The background …Average journey times in Perth (and across the country) are escalating. As populations continues to rise the problems mount.
The Department of Transport recently published Perth Transport Plan (PTP) – For 3.5 Million People & Beyond, stated ‘With the cost of congestion in Perth currently estimated at $2 billion dollars per annum, it is clear that planning Perth’s transport future now is a smart financial decision,
essential to keeping our economy and city moving for generations to come’.
The PTP states there are currently 3.6M car driver trips per day. That is forecast to rise to 6.3 million by the time the population gets to 3.5 million in 2050. Infrastructure Australia have predicted that by 2031 seven of Australia’s ten most congested road corridors will be in Perth, and this congestion will cost Western Australia $16 billion annually.
Around 35% of Perth residents travel 10-20Km for work or study, and a further 30% travel more than 20Kms. Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics estimates of the ‘avoidable’ social costs of congestion for the 8 Australian capitals total approximately $16.5 billion for the 2015 financial year, having grown from about $12.8 billion for the 2010 financial year.
These traffic delay increases have BITRE base case projections of the avoidable social costs of metropolitan congestion rising to around $30 billion by 2030. With Perth rising from $2 to $5.7 billion alone.
The Australasian Railway Association November 2013 reported that the 2011 Census revealed that 84 per cent of Perth’s 900,494 labour force travel to work by car (77 per cent reported driving to work, whilst a further 7 per cent travel in a car as a passenger).
The portion of people opting to take the train was 4 per cent in 2011, putting train in the top three methods of travel to work. The results also indicated that 3 per cent of Perth employees walked to work in 2011. Other popular methods of travel to work include travelling by bus (4 per cent), bicycle (1 per cent) and truck (1 per cent).
//SN: What will you be using to measure success of Kapuddle?
The number of passengers. Every passenger that was previously a driver is worth 20 trees per year in saved CO2 emissions. If we can reduce congestion by 5% in Perth it will be the equivalent of half a million trees.
//SN: When do you expect Kapuddle to be launching?
//SN: What lessons can you share with us in the process of creating it to date?
Have a team of people around you that are prepared to commit, and have complimentary skills in development, commercialisation, finance and marketing.
//SN: If there’s one tip that you would suggest to someone with an early stage startup idea, what would it be?
Really analyse the market potential. And get to market as quick as possible.