For inter-city travel: MirrorTrip is a one way car rental solution that matches you with people driving in the opposite direction – turning one-way trips into a round trip so that you don’t have to pay drop-off fees. It’s a new type of car sharing that we call ‘ride switching’.
MirrorTrip lowers the cost of inter-city rentals to make them price-competitive with traditional alternatives such as bus, train, carpooling and short haul flights: therefore, MirrorTrip’s globally patented software solution has strong category defining potential.
Tell us about yourself?
I come from a computer science background. Having worked the last 15 years in software development, technical solutions to real-world-problems have become a passion of mine.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Master the sales funnel quicker! To me that’s the main role of a CEO. Coming from a technical background – it easy to get distracted with the tech side of things. Taking master of key acquisition channels such as SEO and PPC advertising are equally as important though.
What problem does your business solve?
MirrorTrip solves the traditional problem of over priced one-way car rentals. That is, when you rent a car to pick up in one city & drop off in another, the rental company usually charges a hefty one-way drop off fee in order to compensate for the inconvenience of keeping their fleet balanced.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
A few years back I was on a road trip across Europe with my wife. A pick up from Barcelona Spain and drop off to Paris France was going to cost an additional fee of 950 Euros!
So I started looking for alternatives and did not find any – and noticed in online discussion groups that lots of people had the same problem.
When I returned Stateside he convinced my creative agency colleagues about the need for a service that lets people collaborate to create round trips from two one way trips and that’s how MirrorTrip was born.
What is your magic sauce?
Our patent pending ‘ride switching’ algorithm combined with preferential deals with top tier providers like Hertz (e.g. they won’t let just anyone do this ;).
It’s our algorithm that kicks things off by creating an environment that easily allows the rental car provider to waive the drop-off fee.
If we can guarantee the vehicle is returned to it’s original city promptly & free of hassle – why not expand your rental market? It’s a win win.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
Based on the strength of our pilot in Western Canada, we are in the final stages of expanding to the rest of Canada and the USA. From there though within the next 5 years we expect also to be approaching new markets overseas also.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
In the beginning I think it was securing the right contracts with rental car vendors. As in any B2B negotiation, these are complicated and take time to close.
You need to manage your expectations accordingly.
How do people get involved/buy into your vision?
For us – it’s all about being genuine. We genuinely believe in the need for ride switching and we have seen this echoed in our customer sentiment.
In terms of involvement and buy in I like to keep things organic.
That is, if you think you have something that helps achieve what we’re aiming for (The world’s first inter-city car sharing platform), then we’ll always pick up the phone & vice a versa.