START-UP: Hi Oscar co-founders Jeremy Webb and Dan Broughton. Picture: Supplied
An Australian-owned ride-share app has launched in Launceston.
Hi Oscar is an alternative to Uber and other ride-share apps.
It was founded in Perth as a start-up about two years ago, by three friends – Jeremy Webb, Milann Veldink and Dan Broughton – who started their own business on top of their full-time jobs.
Mr Broughton said they wanted to create an ride-share app that put more control in the hands of both drivers and passengers.
“Our main point of difference is that you get to choose,” he said.
“You touch the cars on the screen to get the driver – so one thing is that you can choose a female driver if you want, which is a big issue at the moment.”
The app also allows female drivers to only select female passengers if they prefer.
“We found that a lot of our female drivers are OK with carrying male passengers most times of the day, it’s just late at night on Friday and Saturday that they feel a bit uncomfortable,” Mr Broughton said.
“One of the other things that we do as well is that we have a ‘favourite driver’. If you like a driver and you want to use them again, you can see where they are and request them directly.
“It’s almost like having your own chauffeur.”
Hi Oscar takes a 15 per cent commission of every fare, and pay GST and processing fees with that 15 per cent. Uber, comparatively, takes a 25 per cent fare, with the commission varying for other ride-share apps.
Hi Oscar cars can be called from anywhere – so, for example, a passenger in George Town, Bridport, Longford or Legana could request a driver in Launceston.
They also do not have surge prices.
However, Mr Broughton said the app was still in its early stages.
“We’ve built our own technology, and we still have a long way to go,” he said.
“We’ve been doing ride-share for two years, and Tasmania is our first launch into the eastern states.
“That’s because you’ve got a really supportive state government, that are really keen to see Australian tech offerings available in Tasmania.”
Mr Broughton said new customers could use the promo Oscar20 to get $20 off their first four trips.